Senator Schumer To Fight Trump Cuts he says Threatens New York's Security
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) vowed a fight for New York City federal anti-terrorism dollars, just two days after the White House released its budget proposal taking an axe to the federal dollars.
Schumer decried the just-revealed budget proposal, which makes dramatic and ill-advised cuts to federal funding that supports critical anti-terrorism programs that enable New York law enforcement to prevent and respond to terror attacks and threats.
"NYPD and terorrism experts alike say it again and again: terrorists or other evil-doers look to exploit our weakest links. Cuts like the ones proposed by the Trump budget would not only weaken the security apparatus of this city, but they could turn a weak link into something far more serious,” Schumer said. “Federal security funds, like UASI, are the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terror threats and enable the NYPD to do all they can to keep New Yorkers safe and secure. These dollars prevent costly and crippling disasters, but more importantly, these dollars save lives and so, it makes no sense for this funding to be slashed. New York City continues to be the number one target for terrorism in the United States and federal anti-terror funding should reflect that reality. In fact, with the continued requirements of the NYPD to protect Trump Tower, federal funds to New York City should be increased, not decreased."
The Administration’s budget proposal includes $700 million in cuts to the programs such as the Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) that helps cities like New York prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.
Meanwhile, Schumer said the NYPD spends millions in extra local—not federal—New York City dollars to protect Trump Tower, so it's unfair for the President to propose cuts that could mean an even greater burden on local taxpayers when it comes to making the city safe. Schumer said the Homeland Security Grant program provides federal funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas like the New York metropolitan area and helps keep the NYPD a step ahead of evil-doers.
Earlier this year, Schumer publicly challenged President Trump to allocate federal funds in the White House budget for presidential protection at Trump Tower in New York City. According to the city, costs to protect the President totaled tens of millions from Election Day to inauguration day and average about $100,000 a day now—and can peak much higher. However, Schumer said that President Trump did not include any funds for security at Trump Tower in the budget blueprint.
Schumer has been a long and strong supporter of UASI funds for New York City. Last year, Schumer successfully pushed to restore $600 million in key anti-terror funds after President Obama’s budget woefully recommended a funding level of only $330 million in UASI funds required to keep NYC safe.
The Homeland Security Grant Program plays an important role in the implementation of the National Preparedness System and is comprised of three interconnected grant programs: The Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Operation Stonegarden. Together, these grant programs fund a range of preparedness activities, including planning, organization, equipment purchase, training, exercises, and management and administration.
Schumer explained that urban cities like New York City rely on UASI funds to maintain terrorism prevention and response infrastructure. For instance, Schumer explained that New York City uses a portion of UASI funds to support crucial First Responder Training efforts. Examples of this include the Fire Department's (FDNY) Tiered Response Training and the Police Department's (NYPD) Counter-Terrorism Training, such as the active shooter course. UASI funds also pay for coordinated regional planning exercises throughout the New York City Metropolitan area.
The exercises are designed to prepare and coordinate multi-jurisdictional emergency response related to a large and catastrophic event. UASI funds have been used on Ground Law Enforcement Security Measures, which includes heavy-weapons teams that conduct ongoing patrols at transit hubs, airports, bridges, subways, waterways and highly visited landmarks.