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Congressman David Rivera Can’t Be Trusted to Keep South Florida Safe

For Immediate Release: November 2, 2011
Contact: Brannon Jordan, (850) 222-3411

Congressman David Rivera Can’t Be Trusted to Keep South Florida Safe

Tallahassee, FL – South Floridians cannot trust Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) to protect them from terrorism.  On multiple occasions, Congressman Rivera put politics ahead of his constituents and voted to cut or eliminate funding for Homeland Security and our first responders.  While Congressman Rivera recently signed a letter expressing concern for the region’s lack of homeland security funding, what Congressman Rivera didn’t tell you was that his vote would endanger South Floridians and leave them vulnerable to terrorism.

“Congressman David Rivera 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 Rivera would have you believe he is concerned about budget cuts that leave Florida vulnerable to terrorism, but South Floridians now understand that they cannot trust Congressman Rivera to put their safety before politics.”

Congressman Rivera 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 Rivera 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 thecities cut entirely in FY2012.  [H.R. 2017, Voted #409,6/2/11; Homeland Security Committee, 5/11]

Congressman Rivera 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]

Voted to Fire 36,000 Police and First Responders, Possibly Endangering Public Safety. On February 19, 2011, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1473, a continuing resolution meant to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2011.  Compared to 2010 funding levels, the bill cut $2.5 billion from State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance, Community Oriented Policing Services, the Community Development Fund, and Federal Emergency Management Grants for First Responders.  “The $2.5 billion, which House appropriators claim to have eliminated from local law enforcement and first responder programs, could have prevented about 36,000layoffs nationwide.”  [H.R. 1473, Vote #268, 4/14/11; House Committee on Appropriations Press Release, 4/12/11; House Committee on Appropriations’ FY2011 Continuing Resolutions Reductions, 4/13/11; Center for American Progress, 10/11]

Rivera Touted Meeting with the Fort Lauderdale/Miami Urban Area Security Initiative. In his weekly  update, Rivera noted that he met with representatives from the Fort Lauderdale/Miami UrbanArea Security Initiative and noted that “The Fort Lauderdale/Miami Urban Area Security Initiative serves an area of more than 5.6 million people, four international airports, four seaports, and crucial military, transportation, commercial and utility infrastructure in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.”  [Rivera Weekly Update, 9/20/11]


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