IAFF Scores Budget Victory
Schaitberger Credits Work of Legislative Conference Delegates
March 17, 2005 - The U.S. Senate adopted an amendment to the FY 2006 budget that restores President Bush’s proposed cuts to first responder programs. For the second consecutive year, the administration has suggested reducing aid to first responders from the previous year’s level.

“The IAFF has consistently opposed the president’s ill-advised cuts. With the threats confronting our nation, fire fighters need more federal aid, not less,” says IAFF General President Harold A. Schaitberger.

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), the Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee authored an amendment to restore a total of $855 million above the Bush administration’s budget request. A total of $565 million will be dedicated to provide first responder grants to states and localities to be used for equipment, training and personnel costs.

The amendment attracted support from both Democrats and Republicans, passing by a vote of 63-37 – the largest majority of any amendment to the FY ‘06 budget thus far.

Schaitberger attributes the win to the presence of nearly 800 fire fighters – in Washington this week for the IAFF Legislative Conference. “Having just met with their local fire fighters and hearing first hand about the challenges they face clearly made a strong impression in Congress,” he explains.


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