Norton Releases Letter on Deficit in D.C. Security Fund

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released a letter today sent to House and Senate appropriators committee members after District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that D.C.’s Emergency Planning and Security Fund (EPSF) will be exhausted before the end of the fiscal year.

In her letter, Norton writes: “Over the long term, EPSF needs to have sufficient carryover funds so that the District is not put in the unacceptable position of being forced to choose between not providing support for federally related activities, or having to divert its own local funds from local public safety activities to support activities that should be covered by the EPSF.”

The full letter is below:

Dear Chairs Lowey, Shelby, Quigley and Kennedy and Ranking Members Granger, Leahy, Graves and Coons:

We request that you provide at least an additional $6 million for the federally funded District of Columbia Emergency Planning and Security Fund (EPSF) in either the first fiscal year (FY) 2020 continuing resolution or the final FY 2020 D.C. Appropriations bill, whichever comes first.  The EPSF is expected to have at least a $6 million deficit by the end of FY 2019.

As you know, the EPSF pays for the unique security costs the District incurs as the nation’s capital.  The costs include support for the U.S. Secret Service and protests.

Congress provided $12 million for the EPSF in FY 2019, and the EPSF had $2 million in carryover funds at the start of FY 2019.  Even before accounting for the substantial, and still unknown, costs related to President Trump’s July 4th speech, the EPSF was expected to run out of funds before the end of FY 2019.  In addition to the Fourth of July costs, the EPSF’s shortfall is due to the federal government’s failure to reimburse the EPSF for the extra $7.3 million used to support the 2017 presidential inauguration, lower recent appropriations, the costs incurred for President George H.W. Bush’s funeral, and a heightened number of national protests in the capital.

Over the long term, EPSF needs to have sufficient carryover funds so that the District is not put in the unacceptable position of being forced to choose between not providing support for federally related activities, or having to divert its own local funds from local public safety activities to support activities that should be covered by the EPSF.

We appreciate your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

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