National Sheriffs' Association Newsletter: Capitol Watch
December 2012
On Capitol Hill


Congress returned to Washington on November 13th to begin the lame duck session with an extensive legislative agenda to cover before the end of the year.


Sequestration is expected to go into effect on January 2, 2013, resulting in $105 billion in automatic cuts to both defense and non-defense spending, including law enforcement funding. The Bush tax cuts are also set to expire on December 31, 2012, which would increase taxes for most Americans. Together, sequestration and the expiring tax cuts create what's being called the "fiscal cliff." Though lawmakers from both parties continue to look for ways to avert the fiscal cliff, a deal has not yet been reached.

In This Issue
NSA Urges Congress to Protect Law Enforcement Funding
Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Reauthorization Remains Stalled
Senator Coburn Releases Report on UASI Funding
NSA 2013 Winter Conference
NSA Urges Congress to Protect Law Enforcement Funding


With the fiscal cliff looming, the National Sheriffs' Association joined other stakeholders in the law enforcement community to urge Congress to prevent further cuts to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other law enforcement grant programs. Since FY2010, these grant programs have lost 43% of their funding and could lose more than 8% in additional cuts in FY2013 should sequestration go into effect.


The cuts to law enforcement grant programs have had and will continue to have serious and far-reaching consequences at the state and local level. Not only do agencies face the loss of personnel or the inability to purchase equipment as federal funds continue to be reduced, state and local agencies also lose the innovation encouraged by federal grants that allow evidence-based practices to be tested and replicated. With these serious consequences in mind, NSA continues to urge Congress to protect DOJ and law enforcement grant program funding.


To see the full text of the letter sent to Congress, please click here 


Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Reauthorization Remains Stalled 


On November 27, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) held a press conference to highlight the success of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program. Since its inception in 1999, the BVP Program has helped issue more than one million vests to state and local law enforcement officers throughout the country.


Despite the fact that the Government Accountability Office reports that approximately 3,000 law enforcement officers' lives have been saved by vests purchased through the program and that the program has wide bipartisan support, the BVP Program reauthorization bill remains stalled in the Senate due to an anonymous hold. The program's current authorization lapsed in September 2012, making it critical that the hold be lifted and a vote held on the reauthorization bill.


To see Senator Leahy's statement, please click here.


To see Senator Coons' statement, please click here

Senator Coburn Releases Report on UASI Funding  

On December 5, Senator Thomas A. Coburn, MD (R-OK), released a report entitled "Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U. S. Cities," a highly critical look at the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). The purpose of the grant program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is to address the unique needs of high-threat, high density urban areas in preventing terrorism. It is one of several critical grant programs that have assisted many jurisdictions in preparing for a terrorist attack through equipment purchases and staff trainings.


Senator Coburn's report alleges that "too often so-called security spending is making our nation less secure by directing scarce dollars to low-priority projects and low-risk areas."


To view the entire report, please click here. 
REMINDER: NSA 2013 Winter Conference-January 30- February 2, 2013


NSA's 2012 Winter Conference is just around the corner - have you made your plans to attend?


The Conference will be held on January 30- February 2, 2013 in Washington, D.C., at the J.W. Marriott Hotel (1331 Pennsylvania Ave., NW).


Keynote Speakers for the Winter Conference are:

Plenary Session I (January 31)

  U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah)

Plenary Session II (February 1)

  Brigadier General Nick Halley (U.S. Army, retired)


The Winter Conference is the perfect opportunity to meet with your Members of Congress to discuss critical issues affecting the Office of Sheriff. As such, NSA encourages you to schedule meetings with your Members of Congress during the Hill Day on Wednesday, January 30.


Additionally, NSA invites you to attend the "Capitol Hill Briefing Session" on Wednesday, January 30 from 8:30AM-9:30AM in the Garden Terrace (Lobby Level). This session, presented by NSA's Government Affairs Division, will provide sheriffs with talking points, an overview of NSA's legislative issues, and an opportunity for any last minute questions before heading to Capitol Hill.


For more information and the current agenda for the 2013 Winter Conference, please visit


We look forward to seeing you in Washington! 

News & Updates
Save the Date!
NSA 2013 Winter Conference
January 30-February 2 2013
Washington, DC

Breanna Bock-Nielsen
Legislative Liaison

For more information, go to
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