WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- International Association
of Fire Fighters General President Harold A. Schaitberger issued this
statement today on President Bush's proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget:
"As the end of the president's term in office mercifully draws closer,
his proposed budget is another example of his words not matching his deeds.
"President Bush says he wants to protect Americans, but his budget
proposal proves his words are meaningless. Once again, he has proposed
eliminating or drastically reducing funding for important programs that
make our neighborhoods, our citizens and our country safer.
"A president interested in protecting Americans would not cut funding
for the Homeland Security Department's first responder grant programs.
President Bush is surprisingly ignorant of the value that the FIRE Act and
SAFER grants provide to the smallest towns and the largest cities across
"It shouldn't come as a surprise that President Bush is no friend of
fire fighters because he is a repeat offender. The president's budget
proposal for Fiscal 2009 proposes merely $300 million for the FIRE Act -
the same amount he proposed in his Fiscal 2008 budget. He also proposes
eliminating SAFER grant programs - just as he did in his Fiscal 2008
"With his short-sighted budget proposal, President Bush has ignored the
wishes of Congress, which made a very strong bipartisan statement last year
when it saved the SAFER grant program and boosted funding for the FIRE Act.
In the end, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle understood the
value of the first responder grant programs, appropriating $560 million for
the Fire Act and $190 million for SAFER grants.
"The IAFF will again work with Congress to restore funding to the
Homeland Security Department's first responder grant programs and protect
Americans, despite President Bush's attempt to eviscerate our nation's
The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in
Washington, DC, represents more than 287,000 full-time professional fire
fighters and paramedics who protect 80 percent of the nation's population.
More information is available at www.iaff.org.
SOURCE International Association of Fire Fighters