Hoyer Speaks on Firefighter Funding

i thank my friend, the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis, for his leadership on this issue and i thank him for his commitment to firefighters throughout this country. madam speaker, i'm pleased to rise in support of our nation's firefighters. and i'm proud to have co-sponsored this resolution. TimeCode: 14:03:50.8 i'm even more proud of my work with the congressional fire service caucus which i have been privileged to co-chair with the the distinguished gentleman from -- with the distinguished gentleman from TimeCode: 14:04:07.0 pennsylvania, curt weldon, who started that caucus, and who i think is probably the most ardent spokesperson on behalf of firefighters and firefighting safety in this country. the fire service caucus, madam speaker, has long championed TimeCode: 14:04:21.7 initiatives to improve the safety and well-being of our nation's firefighters and to enhance their ability to protect our communities. specifically, we have worked to establish and fund the assistance to firefighters grant program, which has provided more than $2 billion TimeCode: 14:04:38.2 in equipment and training grants for career and volunteer fire departments across the country. madam speaker, it's appropriate that we recognize the extraordinary contributions of the passage of that act. indeed, he was the author of that act, bill pascrell from TimeCode: 14:04:54.9 new jersey. and congressman, i want to thank you for your leadership which is untiring, unflagging, and so effective on behalf of our firefighters and emergency response personnel all over this country. thank you, sir. madam speaker, more recently, TimeCode: 14:05:13.3 we have worked to authorize and fund the safer program, which mr. pascrell also talked about and perhaps others have as well, which provides much needed assistance to allow career and volunteer departments to hire and recruit additional personnel. TimeCode: 14:05:30.9 understaffing is not only a safety problem for our neighborhoods, but a safety problem for our men and women who risk their lives in our defense. it is appropriate that we work tirelessly on behalf of the 1.1 TimeCode: 14:05:46.5 million men and women serving as our domestic defenders. we send men and women abroad to defend freedom, to defend democracy. we are tragically losing some of those people in iraq today TimeCode: 14:06:01.7 and perhaps afghanistan. they do so as volunteers. they do so because they believe in our country, its ideals, and in freedom. very frankly, here at home, we are kept safe by men and women in uniform as well, our police TimeCode: 14:06:18.7 and our firefighters and our emergency responders. we owe them not only a debt of gratitude, but we owe investing in their enterprise to keep them safe and to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe. TimeCode: 14:06:32.6 we ask far too many of them to live their lives in -- to risk their lives in every way. we have an obligation to provide them the necessary resources to perform their jobs as safely and effectively as TimeCode: 14:06:50.1 possible. by honoring this obligation and supporting programs like the safer act and the fire grants, we not only ensure they will go home to their loved ones at the end of the day, we also enable them to better perform their job of protecting us and our TimeCode: 14:07:08.0 loved ones every day. madam speaker, we'll all vote for this resolution. it is easy to vote for resolutions. it is appropriate to vote for this resolution. but if we really mean what we say in honoring these TimeCode: 14:07:24.3 firefighters, men and women, volunteers and career, if we really mean that, the gentleman TimeCode: 14:07:29.9 from new jersey is correct, and i'm sure i have not heard others speak, but i'm sure the observation was made as well, we they'd to invest our resources behind the work that they do or this resolution, TimeCode: 14:07:47.2 while appropriate, and while important, it will not be as meaningful as it otherwise would be. i thank the gentleman for yielding me the time. and i yield back the balance of TimeCode: 14:08:00.0 my time to the gentleman from illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. gutknecht: madam speaker, we have no further speakers on our side i don't believe on this resolution.