As Montana firefighters meet in Bozeman this week, Montanans are reminded of Congressman Dennis Rehberg's irresponsible votes against the nation's emergency responders.
In 2007, shortly before Rehberg slipped away to France on taxpayer dime, he voted against funding to help fire departments train firefighters. The vote came as wildfires burned across Montana.
A year later, Rehberg sued the City of Billings and its Fire Department for monetary damages after a wildfire burned on his high-end subdivision--even though the fire destroyed no homes.
In the midst of his lawsuit Rehberg voted -- twice -- against legislation to health care resources to the nation's heroes who responded to the attacks of 9/11.
“For 12 years in Washington, Congressman Rehberg has fought harder for special interests than he has for hardworking Montana firefighters,” said Ted Dick, Executive Director of the Montana Democratic. “After his years of irresponsible decisions that hurt our state, Congressman Rehberg has clearly forgotten that he works for the heroes who are risking their lives to keep us safe.”
Rehberg Sues Billings Firefighters for Protecting his Multimillion Dollar Subdivision
HEADLINE: Rehberg Ranch Estates Sues City of Billings: "Rehberg Ranch LLC contends property and equipment was damaged at Rehberg Ranch Estates because the fire department breached its duty during a wildfire that burned more than 1,100 acres in the subdivision west of Billings Logan International Airport in July of 2008" [AP, 7/4/10].
Rehberg Rejects Funds to Help 9/11 First Responders Recover
HEADLINE: Rehberg opposes funds for 9/11 rescuers: “The bill before Congress would have spent $3.2 billion over eight years to monitor and treat injuries arising from exposure to toxic dust and debris at ground zero, with New York City paying 10 percent of the costs, the New York Times reported. It also would have appropriated $4.2 billion to reopen the compensation fund to pay for any job or economic losses” [Helena IR, 7/31/10].
Rehberg Voted Against Increasing Funding For Firefighters’ Assistance Grants, SAFER Program, National Fire Academy, U.S. Fire Administration. In June 2007, Rehbeg voted against H.R.2638, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill. According to Fire Engineering, the bill “increases funding for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (FIRE Act) ($565 million) and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program ($210 million). Funding for FY2008 was $560 million and $190 million, respectively. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) funding was increased $45 million; some funds were targeted specifically for modernizing the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and maintaining the National Fire Academy (NFA). President Bush signed the legislation on September 30.” [H.R. 2638, Vote #491, 6/15/07; Fire Engineering, 12/1/08]
Rehberg Voted Against Increasing Funding For SAFER, Emergency Communications Grants, And FIRE Act Grants. In June 2007, Rehberg voted against H.R. 2764, the State-Foreign Ops-Related Programs Appropriations bill. According to the International Association of Firefighters, this bill contained “a unprecedented increase in funding for the SAFER grant program. H.R. 2764, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2008, included $190 million for SAFER, an increase of more than 65 percent over the previous year.” They noted also: “In addition to the $190 million provided to SAFER, the spending bill also funds other IAFF priorities, including $32.5 million for Urban Search and Rescue teams (a $7.5 million increase), $50 million for a new emergency communications grant program, and $560 million for FIRE Act grants (a $13 million increase).” [H.R. 2764, Vote #542, 6/22/07; International Association of Firefighters, 12/21/07]