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March 25, 2016

Aguilar Fights for Federal Funds for San Bernardino and other Cities Affected by Terrorist Attacks

This week, Rep. Pete Aguilar submitted formal requests to the House Appropriations Committee to allocate funds to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to support programs that can help cities like San Bernardino recover costs incurred from extraordinary emergency events like the attack at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015.

“As our community recovers, we need to make sure that our first responders continue to have the resources they need so San Bernardino and the Inland Empire can move forward,” said Rep. Aguilar. He added, “San Bernardino was forced to bear a horrific burden emotionally and economically, and as we heal, we need to be sure our first responders and cities are equipped with the tools and funds they need to push on.”

Rep. Aguilar co-authored his letter to the Department of Justice with fellow California Representative Ken Calvert (R-Corona), who is also an Appropriations Subcommittee Chair. Rep. Calvert stated, “The terrorist attack in San Bernardino was clearly a national security incident.  In my opinion, it’s entirely appropriate for the federal government to help offset some of the significant costs our local law enforcement agencies incurred in their heroic response to this tragic incident.”

San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon added, “We appreciate the help Congressman Aguilar and Congressman Calvert have provided and continue to provide related to reimbursement for this tragedy.  The costs associated with events of this magnitude have a significant impact on local budgets.”

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said, “Securing federal funds to help our region recover from the attack in San Bernardino is critical. I'm glad to see the process is moving along and I commend Congressman Aguilar and Congressman Calvert for their leadership."

In February, the House of Representatives began the annual appropriations process, which funds the federal government for the next fiscal year. This process empowers Congress to fund a number of departments, agencies and programs throughout the federal government. Rep. Aguilar’s letters to DHS and DOJ with his appropriations requests can be read here and here. Rep. Aguilar’s letters formally ask for sufficient funding for programs supported by these two agencies which are potential resources for San Bernardino and for other cities, should they experience an extraordinary emergency in the future like what happened in San Bernardino. The Appropriations Committee will review the requests in the coming weeks and months.

Rep. Aguilar has worked closely with local law enforcement, federal agencies and his Democratic and Republican colleagues to help offset the costs sustained as a result of the attack at the Inland Regional Center, and will continue to do so to ensure that first responders and Inland Empire cities and towns have the resources they need to recover. Beau Yabrough with the San Bernardino Sun has the story here.