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Ballistic Vest Grant Funding Hits Roadblock in U.S. Senate

May 09, 2014  | 

A program that helps law enforcement agencies buy bulletproof vests is stuck in an ideological battle over the government's responsibility to state and local police departments.

Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the Senate on Tuesday to consider long-delayed legislation to reauthorize the Bulletproof Vest Grant Partnership Program, which he authored.

But a longtime opponent of the bill, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., objected, blocking action on the program, as he did in 2012, USA Today reports.

Coburn said the Constitution gives the federal government no role in funding local police departments.

"It's a nice thing to do if we were in surplus," he said. "We're not in surplus."

Leahy wanted the Senate to take up the legislation ahead of National Police Week next week. After Coburn objected, Leahy announced he would hold a May 14 hearing on the program's positive impact.

Comments (8)

Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/9/2014 6:05 PM

But any nutball that wants a gun is protected by the 2nd amendment. It's no surprise the GOP is anti-police but pro-gun. This problem easily could be solved using COPS or CPP grants. There does not have to be direct funding for vests but Police have used grants to upgrade services for years. Grants are the best choice and the legal choice.

AJ @ 5/9/2014 8:32 PM

The US Senate is pitting US Citizens against COPS plain and simple! Of course it's a VESTED interest < pun intended! Because people who protect a Corrupt Government who will be "rewarded" and those who dislike Corruption will be Political Prisoners, or end up Dead like Andrew Brietbart!

I don't worship the GOP the way some Worship Obama and the Dems. I'm an Indy Libertarian. Both parties are controlled by the NWO. People may have a hard time swallowing the "red pill" it took me 7-9 years to wake up! Like the TARP bailout! Under Bush and Obama! The Gov. is for the Ruling Class by the Ruling Class. No more "We The People".
The same people who mock Tin Foil hat people. Believe in Fairy Tales like Global Warming, and Marxism. Marxism only works for the rich and connected. Climate Change has been happening for millions of years. That's why we had an Ice Age. Now the Ruling Elite can use HAARP to get the "weather" they want to force climate legislation on the poor and working class

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/10/2014 3:02 AM

I feel so sorry for you. What a mixed up world you live in.

Bob W @ 5/10/2014 12:06 PM

If it was monies for the UNDOCUMENTED people in this country it would get full support.

Troop @ 5/10/2014 12:42 PM

But the government will be more than happy to give universities millions to study the mating habits of frogs.

Robert @ 5/10/2014 12:49 PM

That's ok we can give General Motors 700million to hide another ignition problem. On the other hand, Thanks Senator Leahy for your support it's much appreciated.

Trigger @ 5/12/2014 7:26 AM

Wow. What Senator Coburn speaks is truth "It's a nice thing to do if we were in surplus," he said. "We're not in surplus." But he should also take a look at the entire Federal Government grant operation. As was stated with other grants allowing agencies to purchase and upgrade equipment. I know of several agencies that bought "stuff" under several federal grants just because they could and will never us it, however these same grants did not cover the purchase of soft body armor or other things that we could use in the real world. I wonder, does the US Consititution give the federal government a role in funding sidewalks??

SN @ 5/13/2014 7:41 PM

I'm sorry I missed it in class, but where in the Constitution does it say anything about healthcare? Not saying gov't healthcare is good or bad, but using the Constitution as a copout for not funding a known safety device for public servants is a bit annoying. Wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't ballistic vest funding fall under the realm of healthcare? I mean my healthcare premiums doubled so others could have free (affordable???) healthcare, why can't I have a vest to preserve my health? If the fed gov't can dictate industry standards through the NIJ, why not fund the standards?

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