Following is a statement from International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Harold Schaitberger on Senator Tom Coburn’s recent report on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants:
“Department of Homeland Security grant programs provide critical financial support to America’s communities. That’s why Senator Tom Coburn is right to look for waste and fraud – because the financial support for communities that these grants provide is too important to waste.
“American lives are still at risk–both from terrorists and well as natural disasters–and we are not adequately prepared. Each dollar spent on sno-cone machines is a dollar that is not spent to improve the public safety of Americans. The needs of our nation’s domestic defenders are real, and they continue to be hindered by inadequate resources.
“Things are getting better, due in part to programs like the Urban Area Security Initiative, but we still have a long way to go. While Senator Coburn is right to seek out waste, he is wrong that this proves funding should be cut. The lesson of the senator’s report is that we need to spend money more wisely.
“We urge Senator Coburn to work with us to support and continue critical DHS grant programs and make them stronger going forward while continuing to expose waste and inappropriate expenditures,” Schaitberger said.
The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 300,000 full-time professional firefighters and paramedics and is the leading advocate for the health and safety of first responders. More information is available at www.iaff.org.
Read Sentaor Coburn’s reports as a PDF HERE (2 MB).