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Public Statements

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would add $10 million to State and local grant programs under this budget, and the offset would be from the management account.

I'm offering this amendment because our State and local units of government don't have the revenue to adequately protect our citizens in the event of a natural disaster or another emergency. The housing crisis has depressed housing values throughout this country and, as a result, has lowered the tax base from which State and local governments depend on raising their revenue.

I urge this House to approve this amendment to better prepare our State and local units of government for emergencies and other natural disasters and terrorist attacks which could occur.

I appreciate your support, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. CLARKE of Michigan. I want to thank the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Runyan) for offering this amendment.

I have joined him in a bipartisan fashion because our local units of governments need this money to be able to rehire their firefighters and to get the training equipment that they need to better prepare our firefighters to respond to a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.

I support this amendment. This will help cities like Detroit and other municipalities in metro Detroit that need to apply for these funds. This provides more money--back to the level in prior years--so that our communities can be safer.

Again, I want to commend the author of this amendment. He has my support. I'm honored to be on this amendment as a cosponsor.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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r. CLARKE of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, this amendment would add $10 million to FEMA's State and local grant programs. This will be an additional $10 million that our State governments and our local units of government could have available to them to better protect their citizens in the case of an emergency and also to respond more effectively to such a disaster.

This money can go to high-risk urban areas such as metro Detroit that really need the resources. It can also go to better protect and secure our ports, which would also benefit regions like metropolitan Detroit.

Again, the reason why I come to this Congress, to this budget and ask for these additional resources is because in the past this Congress failed to properly oversee the housing market, which resulted in a crisis that dramatically reduced property values all around this country and, most tragically, reduced the revenues available to States and localities to fund these important services.

That's why I'm asking this Congress, this House, to amend this budget to provide an additional $10 million to our States and local units of government so they can better protect our citizens in case of an emergency.

I look for your support.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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