Paul Ryan sang the praises of first responders on 9/11, but what he didn’t tell his audience is that he and his running mate have long planned on cutting their federal funding.
Ryan told a group of first responders in Wisconsin today that, “This is a day where we as Americans need to think and remember the people who lost their lives and be thankful for those of you who put your lives on the line for us every day. So we are here simply to bring notoriety and a gift of thanks for what you do for us on a daily basis.”
In fact, Ryan is so grateful to first responders that last year he and his fellow House Republicans targeted their federal grants in an effort to cut $100 billion out of the budget. But Ryan isn’t alone; his running mate, Mitt Romney, has a long history of proposing cuts for first responders.
The Romney/Ryan budget proposal would slash $12 billion per year in federal funding to first responders. In 2007, during his first run for president, Romney said that he would redirect Homeland Security money for first responders into intelligence.
The Concord Monitor reported that Romney told a group of supporters over coffee and doughnuts that, “If he were president, he would shift the allocation of Homeland Security dollars from an emphasis on first responders to prevention through intelligence, Romney said, adding that he would especially want to support and expand the intelligence gathering done by the FBI.”
Paul Ryan is your typical House Republican. He praises first responders to their faces, but when in Washington he sits around and tries to dream up ways to impose under the radar cuts in first responder funding. However, Ryan’s behavior is not an isolated case. Almost a year ago to the day, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor demanded a 40% in federal funding for first responders in order to pay for disaster relief.
Rep. Ryan was part of a team of House Republican leadership that cut first responder funding by 19% in 2011, and then came back and demanded an additional 40% cut to in funds for equipment and training of first responders. Paul Ryan voted for every single war spending bill when George W. Bush was in office, but he has spent the Obama years trying to cut funding for first responders.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan claim that America is less safe under president Obama, but if they are elected and carry out their budget plan, Americans will be less safe. In a Romney/Ryan America, first responders may not have the equipment and resources needed to be there when disaster strikes.
Republicans like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney truly are damning our first responders with faint praise.