New York still losing anti-terror fundsBy TOM BRUNE
May 13, 2010
WASHINGTON - New York lawmakers blasted the Homeland Security Department Wednesday for not reconsidering planned cuts to New York's transit and port security grants despite the May 1 Times Square bomb attempt.
Like other cities, New York City will see its funding cut by about a quarter in grant awards that DHS is to announce Thursday after Congress reduced 2010 appropriations for each program from $400 million last year to $300 million this year.
New York City's public transportation security grant will drop from $153.3 million last year to $110.6 million this year, while its port security grant will dip from $45 million to $33.8 million, the lawmakers said.
Still, Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said the stimulus money is a one-time infusion and insisted New York City should get a larger share of the regularly appropriated homeland security funding as the country's top terrorist target.But DHS countered Thursday that the New York City area will actually see an increase of $47 million in combined transit and port security funding. The stimulus bill passed last year included an additional $300 million for the two programs, and New York City area agencies will be getting about $100 million of that amount, a spokesman said.
In December, Schumer and King protested when DHS said it expected to give smaller grants.
But Wednesday they stepped up their attacks on DHS for not factoring the botched bombing into the final grant awards.
Since the bomb scare, New York public officials including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Schumer, King and the rest of the New York congressional delegation have been clamoring for more homeland security money, saying the attack authorities say the Pakistani Taliban directed shows New York City remains the top target for terrorists.
King called the cuts "dangerous and unconscionable" in a statement. "The threat against New York City, the top target of al-Qaida, is increasing, not decreasing," he said.
Schumer said in an interview, "When it comes to terrorism, there should be a bigger pie, and we should get a bigger piece of the pie in light of recent events."
Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said, "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."