Tuesday, September 19, 2006

King Caught Lying About First Responder Communications Funding

From CongressDaily via Govec.com

"The agreement on a FEMA overhaul plan also has not calmed the rancor between House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, R-N.Y., and ranking member Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., over the issue of funding to help ensure that first responders can communicate with each other in an emergency. Thompson wants to provide $3.1 billion in additional funding to state and local governments for interoperable communications, but that funding was left out of the final agreement.
"By refusing to provide desperately needed funds for interoperable communications, House Republicans and the White House have shamefully sold out our nation's first responders in an effort to score political points just weeks before the upcoming election," Thompson said.
King claimed Monday that Thompson never raised the issue of providing the $3.1 billion for interoperable communications during negotiations. "It's really unfortunate that certain Democrats are trying to raise these last-minute political issues," King said.
A committee spokesman added: "Chairman King and ranking member Thompson wrote our bill together, passed it through committee together, and were negotiating with the Senate together. This was never an issue until Mr. Thompson took it to the press late last week. Frankly, it looks more like an excuse to walk away from the negotiations than anything else."
Aides to Thompson said they raised the issue of providing $3.1 billion with King's staff before Labor Day. In one communication to King's aides before Labor Day, which was reviewed by CongressDaily, a Thompson aide mentioned the funding amount. Thompson aides added that Thompson's participation in the negotiations for overhauling FEMA was based on trying to get the $3.1 billion.
"The 9/11 Commission says that we absolutely must have interoperability," Thompson said in a statement Monday. "As a former firefighter, I'm with the first responders and the commissioners on this one. I'll leave the political game playing to Mr. King this season."
Thompson also did not participate in signing off on the final agreement last week because the $3.1 billion was not being provided, an aide added. "We were no longer in the room because they basically told us our one issue was not on the table," the aide said."

Why does King need to lie?
Why doesn't he want to fund crucial communication upgrades??

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If Thompson's participation in the negotiations for overhauling FEMA was based on trying to get the $3.1 billion, why was it only mentioned (and I'm sure it was buried) in a memo by a staff member? Wouldn't you assume that Thompson would have made bigger deal out of this during negotiations if this was the only reason for his participation? Looks like Thompson was the one lying to me.