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Congressman Allen West Can't Be Trusted to Keep South Florida Safe

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NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
For Immediate Release: November 2, 2011
Contact: Brannon Jordan, (850) 222-3411

Congressman Allen West Can't Be Trusted to Keep South Florida Safe

Tallahassee, FL - South Floridians cannot trust Congressman Allen West (FL-22) to protect them fromterrorism.  On multiple occasions, Congressman West put politics ahead of his constituents and voted to cut or eliminate funding for Homeland Security and our first responders.  While Congressman West recently signed a letterexpressing concern for the region’s lack of homeland security funding, what Congressman West didn’t tell you was that his vote would endanger South Floridians and leave them vulnerable to terrorism.

“Congressman Allen West got in line with his Republican leadership instead of fully funding the security needs of South Florida,” said Brannon Jordan of the Florida Democratic Party.  “Now Congressman West would have you believe he is concerned about budget cuts that leave Florida vulnerable to terrorism, butSouth Floridians now understand that they cannot trust Congressman West to put their safety before politics.”

Background:

Congressman West Sent Letter to Homeland Security Noting Budget Cuts Will Leave Florida Vulnerable To Terrorism. “South Florida members of Congress are concerned that major funding cuts for homeland security will leave their region more vulnerable to terrorism […] Given a funding reduction of 44 percent for fiscal 2011 and more proposed cuts for fiscal 2012, the members said they are “deeply concerned” about the ability of counties and cities to meet security needs.  The members urged federal officials to designate South Florida as one of the top-tier sites for homeland security funds.”  [Sun Sentinel, 10/27/11]

Congressman West Voted to Eliminate Fort Lauderdale/Miami from Receiving Urban Security Funding. According to the Homeland Security Committee, “The Republican-led Appropriations Committee directs FEMA to further reduce UASI participation to just 10 cities under H.R. 2017.”  From FY2010 to FY2011, Miami is expected to see a 44% reduction in funding and is expected to be one of the cities cut entirely in FY2012. [H.R. 2017, Voted #409, 6/2/11; Homeland Security Committee, 5/11]

Congressman West Voted Multiple Times to Cut Homeland Security Funding to Miami. In February 2011, Rep. Rivera voted to cut the Urban Area Security Initiative by $87 million.  In April 2011, Rep. Rivera voted to cut the Urban Area Security Initiative by $162 million.  According to the Associated Press, “More than 30 smaller and mid-sized U.S. cities are losing about $170 million in federal anti-terrorism funding that began after the Sept. 11 attacks [...]”  [FY2011 Department of Homeland Security Grant Guidance, accessed  5/26/11; [Text of H.R.1, 2/19/11; H.R. 1, Vote #147, 2/19/11; Senate Appropriations Committee, 4/11/11; H.R. 1473, Vote #268, 4/13/2011; Associated Press, 5/19/11]

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