Our own worst enemy: Dems in Congress fought nuclear security for New YorkEditorial
NY Daily News
June 29, 2009
The White House and the Democratic leadership of Congress took aim last week at denying New York the federal funding this city needs to maintain vigilance against nuclear weaponry.
Could President Obama have known that his aides, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, called for killing a $40 million appropriation that pays for a ring of radiological detectors on highways, bridges, tunnels and waterways leading into the city? We hope not.
But we do know the House leadership - Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip James Clyburn and most committee chairs - waged a reckless fight to kill the funding, apparently so they could call themselves budget-cutters.
Why should they worry about a dirty bomb exploding in Times Square? They don't live here.
Particularly disgraceful in betraying New York was Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, who represents Rochester. She was the single New Yorker who voted to dump the anti-terror program.
Only through battling by Long Island Rep. Pete King and Brooklyn Rep. Yvette Clarke, along with furious lobbying by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, did a vote on restoring the funding get to the House floor.
There the measure passed 282 to 148, with a majority of Democrats voting to kill it and an overwhelming number of Republicans voting to save it.
Among those carrying Pelosi's water was Rep. David Price of North Carolina, who derided the funding as "an earmark for New York," outrageously equating the program with a bridge to nowhere. Which is what we could end up with if we get nuked.
So a big salute to Clarke and King, and, for the record, a reminder that Pelosi & Co. pledged over and again in the election season to implement all recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Which included providing sufficient homeland security funds and allocating them according to threat.
Consider that promise broken.