Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt today called for 100-billion dollars in new spending on homeland security. Gephardt says he’d spend 20-billion in each of the next five years on a grant program for police, fire fighters and ambulance service workers.Gephardt says we all lived through September 11th, but when it comes to homeland security, Gephardt says President Bush “acts as if it’s still September the 10th.” Gephardt says Bush hasn’t lived up to his promises to help buy new police equipment, help fire departments upgrade or help boost emergency preparedness.Gephardt says “none of these homefront security measures are expendable,” but Gephardt says Bush abandoned them all for a tax cut for the wealthy. Gephardt says that’s “irresponsible, inexplicable and inexcusable.” Gephardt made his announcement this morning at the Cedar Rapids police department. Gephardt says local police and other “first responders” are the first line of defense in the war on terror. Gephardt says homeland security has become an “unbearable burden” for cities, counties and states, and it’s time for the federal government to do its part. Gephardt says President Bush has made Baghdad the focus of the war on terrorism when the focus should be here at home. Gephardt says if he’s elected, he’ll create an Office of Information Analysis to study terrorist threats and establish a stricter visa application process. Gephardt says he’ll pay for his homeland security ideas by closing corporate tax loopholes.
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