Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Criticizes Inadequate Funding for First Responders in Omnibus Spending Bill; Announces Funding for San Francisco

February 13, 2003


Washington, D.C. -- The House of Representative tonight overwhelmingly passed a $397 billion omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2003.

While the bill contains many worthy programs, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said it also shortchanges homeland security needs, education and public housing. President Bush and House Republicans promised $3.5 billion in new money for first responders, such as police and firefighters, but the final bill provides only $1.2 billion in new money to help first responders.

Democrats added a last-minute provision to restore $500 million to fund training, equipment, and assistance for first responders, but Republicans defeated the measure on a party-line vote.

“It is hard to believe that the same Administration that is urging all Americans to buy duct tape and plastic to cover their windows still refuses to adequately fund first responders,” Pelosi said. “We are asking American families to prepare for a chemical or biological attack, but local police and firefighters are being denied the resources needed to purchase protective suits and other vital equipment.”

Furthermore, the level of education funding is $5.3 billion short of the amount promised when the bipartisan No Child Left Behind Act was passed last year. The bill also cuts funding for public housing at a time when the need for affordable housing is rising sharply.

In addition, Republicans included a slew of anti-environmental riders - provisions slipped into the bill with no opportunity for public comment and debate - that weaken environmental protections.

“Ever so quietly, but ever so quickly, the Republicans are rolling back more than 30 years of environmental progress, and this bill proves it yet again,” Pelosi said. “These provisions will cause widespread damage, including irresponsible clear-cutting of our national forests all around the country.”

San Francisco Funding

Pelosi advocated for significant increases in vital federal programs that directly benefit San Francisco and that are priorities for the community. The following are some of the transportation and infrastructure programs included in the bill that are key for the Bay Area:

· Extension of BART to San Francisco International Airport -- $100 million
· Third Street Light Rail/Central Subway -- $1.5 million for preliminary engineering
· A new security operations center for the airport (SFO) -- $5 million
· Improvements for Muni buses and bus facilities -- $5 million
· Presidio Trust -- $21.327 million
· Asia Foundation -- $10.4 million
· Projects to restore San Francisco Bay wetlands -- $6.2 million
· Renovation of Cliff House -- $1.9 million
· YMCA of San Francisco for Hunters Point and Chinatown facilities - $90.000
· Mission Bay Senior Housing -- $360,000
· Hunters Point water and sewer upgrades -- $900,000
· Seismic retrofits for the Golden Gate Bridge -- $4.25 million
· Transit access to Crissy Field -- $1 million
· Fuel cell ferry project -- $2.5 million
· Building 640 Interpretive Center -- $600,000. In this building at the Presidio during World War II, Japanese Americans trained in translation and battlefield negotiation skills, while their families remained confined in internment camps.
· Restoration of Alcatraz barracks -- $1.21 million
· Projects to benefit navigation, shipping, and beaches -- $5.3 million

Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Funding for San Francisco:

· $1 million for the University of San Francisco Center for Public Service and the Common Good
· $750,000 for the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Housing Services to the Homeless Program
· $750,000 for HIV/AIDS services through the San Francisco Department of Public Health
· $500,000 to Asian Art Museum to launch AsiaAlive, a new education initiative
· $400,000 for Walden House for seismic safety upgrades at their Buena Vista West facility
· $400,000 for a wide range of services to poor and homeless families through the Homeless Prenatal Program
· $350,000 Young Community Developers’ environmental remediation workforce development program
· $325,000 for The Breast Cancer Fund to provide support services to low-income women diagnosed with breast cancer through the Lifelines program
· $300,000 for the Bay Area Digital Community Workforce Opportunity Program
· $250,000 for the Friendship House Association of American Indians to expand their substance abuse treatment center from 30 to 80 beds
· $250,000 to Glide Memorial Methodist Church for construction of Glide Health Clinic
· $225,000 for after school education programs provided by Mission Education Projects Inc.
· $200,000 for environmental education programs at Crissy Field in Golden Gate National Park

Funding for national programs important to San Francisco:

· $2.006 billion (+$95.8 million) for Ryan White CARE Act
· $1.515 billion (+$171.5 million) for Community Health Centers
· $705 million (+$5 million) for domestic HIV Prevention
· $690 million (+$25 million) for bilingual education
· $183 million (+$15 million) for global HIV Prevention
· $406 million (+$25 million) for the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative
· $28 million (+$10.5 million) for Environmental Health Tracking


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