No 1st responder network in debt deal

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WASHINGTON -- A Senate provision for creating a new national broadband safety network for first responders was stripped from the final debt-limit deal by the House, said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) Monday.

The Senate had added to the debt-limit bill a provision for setting aside spectrum for public safety officials to create their own national network, which they say they need to overcome problems communicating with each other on radios using different airwaves.

Now bills sponsored by Rockefeller in the Senate and Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) in the House will have to go through the usual legislative process. Long Island's representatives and New York's senators also back the first responder network.

"We had hoped that a version of our legislation would have been in the deficit package this week," Rockefeller said in a statement. "Despite that setback, I will continue to fight to make sure that by the 10th anniversary of 9/11 we have this bill signed into law."

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