2004-08-11 / Features

Bush Urged To Get Anti-Terror Funds To NYC Quickly

By John Toscano

Bush Urged To Get Anti-Terror Funds To NYC Quickly


Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., Chair of the Public Safety Committee attended two press conferences calling on the federal government to give New York its fair share of homeland security funding amidst the latest terror warnings. Vallone is pictured in front of the New York Stock Exchange with Senator Clinton and Congressman Crowley.Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., Chair of the Public Safety Committee attended two press conferences calling on the federal government to give New York its fair share of homeland security funding amidst the latest terror warnings. Vallone is pictured in front of the New York Stock Exchange with Senator Clinton and Congressman Crowley.

By John Toscano

New York lawmakers, citing the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations to allocate homeland security funds based on threat and risk, called on President George W. Bush to act quickly to increase anti-terror funds to New York City.

Included among those petitioning the president were United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also issued another blast at the Homeland Security Department to end the pork barrel politics where homeland security funding is concerned, and distribute the money to where the threat is the greatest—New York City.

Amidst all the clamoring to redirect funds to New York City, Maloney issued a congressional study which showed that the city actually got less funds last year (2003) than the year before that (2002).

Clinton called on Bush and the Senate to immediately implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation and increase terror funding for New York City and Washington.

The junior Senator from New York said that although present law requires states to receive a set minimum amount of Homeland Security funding, "There is nothing in the law that requires the federal government to distribute the remainder of the funding on a per capita basis, as it is currently distributed. The president is empowered to change this through executive order."

Clinton said New  York City has almost $1 billion in homeland security needs and already is spending more than $200 million per year on homeland security for Police Department overtime alone because New York remains on high alert.

Maloney, noting that the president was reviewing the 9/11 panel’s recommendations to see what he could implement immediately, urged him to follow its recommendation to fix homeland funding formulas to better help high-threat cities, including New York City.

The Queens/Manhattan lawmaker said the president could get $840 million in security aid to the city through actions "within his immediate powers."

She explained that the president could use the Stafford Act to send the city $840 million in "mitigation aid" to protect against future terrorist attempts

Maloney also said Bush could use the administration’s discretionary powers over 60 percent of homeland security grants to direct aid to high-threat areas, especially New York City.

Vallone Jr. (D–Astoria), chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, called for the federal government to award New York City an additional $355 million for both the Fire and Police Departments.

He asked: "How many more examples of terrorist plots does the federal government need? Terrorist laptops don’t have plans [to attack] Iowa cornfields, but [it has] plans for the financial center of America right here in New York City."

Miller also called for $355 million in federal aid for the New York Police and Fire Department.

Maloney pointed out: "We can’t praise the 9/11 commission recommendations one day, but work against them in Congress the next." She said she knew Congressmember Christopher Cox of California was trying to do something positive in reforming the funding formulas, "but I think this piece of legislation does the opposite by not distributing resources based solely on threat assessment."


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