The Friday Faxline
Issue 373, September 9, 2004
On September 11, 2001 nearly three thousand men, women, and children were killed in an act of war, including thirty from my home state of Pennsylvania. This weekend we will honor their memory and redevote ourselves to defeating the evil that killed them. We should never forget why they died - because agents of evil believe that they can bully us and change our policies by murdering innocent people. On Thursday, I joined my colleagues in a moment of silence commemorating the 9/11 attacks following our approval of a resolution that honored those lost and recounting the progress we have made in fighting terrorism and making our nation safer.
District Fire Departments receive federal grants
Four fire companies in our district have received federal grants under the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFGP) awards one-year grants directly to fire departments to support the nation's firefighters and the services they deliver. For the 2004 program, Congress appropriated, and President Bush signed into law, $750 million in direct assistance to firefighters to improve the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, and to establish or expand fire prevention programs throughout the United States. All four grants will be used to augment operations and firefighter safety programs:
Pomeroy Vol. Fire Co. - $10,800.00
Penryn Fire Company No. 1, Inc. - $90,827.00
Pioneer Fire Company # 1 - $35,910.00
Intercourse Fire Company - $97,650.00
Intelligence reform: moving forward
As we move forward Congress will be considering legislation to reform our intelligence services as suggested by the 9/11 Commission. This week, President Bush endorsed the idea of giving a National Intelligence Director budgetary authority. The House is allowing committee chairmen to draft separate proposals by mid-September. These proposals will then we folded into one reform bill taking the best aspects and ideas of each to craft a single plan for reform on which we should vote before we adjourn for the election in mid-October.
Nebraska court rules in favor of abortion procedure
A third federal judge ruled Wednesday that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf in Lincoln, Nebraska questioned the findings included by congress in the bill which cited medical research and professionals who say that the procedure is never medically necessary. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that, "there are no circumstances under which this procedure would be the only option to save the life of the mother and preserve the health of the woman." Likewise, in 1995 a panel of 12 doctors representing the American Medical Association, voted unanimously to recommend banning partial birth abortion, calling it "basically repulsive." Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop says partial birth abortion is "never medically necessary to protect a mother's life or her future fertility. On the contrary, this procedure can pose a significant threat to both."
Quote of the Week
"Genocide has been committed in Darfur. The government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility and ... genocide may still be occurring."
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.