New York in Uproar Over DHS Cuts in Anti-Terrorism Funds
May 13, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Many Americans support cuts in federal spending, except when they don’t. Case in point, is the news that the Department of Homeland Security plans to make cuts in New York’s anti-terrorism funding to offset an increase in funds due to the Recovery Act and transit security grants. But timing is everything. The announcement comes just days after an attempted car-bombing in Times Square and on the eve of a visit to New York by President Obama. And New York lawmakers, including Sen. Charles Schumer (D) and Rep. Peter King (R) are howling.
The anti-terrorism funding decrease amounts to about a 25 percent cut or $11.2 million for port security, and a 27 percent cut or $42 million for transit security.
Rep. King calls the cuts “absolutely disgraceful,” and a “direct slap” to New Yorkers.
Sen. Schumer, says the decrease in funding “just makes no sense at all.” And he invoked the specter of a nuclear attack. “The worst nightmare we probably face is some kind nuclear device placed in a container in the ship in the harbor and exploding….we need all the help we can get,” said Schumer.
But a statement released by DHS insists New York will actually and up with an increase in overall funding, because the cuts offset additions, according to a report in Politico:
“DHS is actively engaged in supporting New York City’s first responders and overall preparedness for acts of terrorism and other disasters through an array of grant programs. In 2009, DHS awarded more than $457 million to New York City to prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other threats.”
“The Recovery Act appropriated $300 million for Port and Transit Security Grant Programs, more than $100 million of which went to the New York City area. In FY 2010 Congress subsequently appropriated fewer dollars for Port and Transit grants as a result of dollars already provided under the Recovery Act.”
DHS officials estimated that New York would receive $47 million more in funding than last year.
Against this uproar, President Obama plans to visit New York City on Thursday to honor the NYPD for their excellent work in responding to the car-bomb threat and quickly apprehending the suspect.
Mayor Bloomberg stood above the fray, not wanting to comment on the proposed cuts until he sees the official figures.