Homeland Security plans NYC security cuts
(AP) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plansto drastically cut security funding for city mass transit and portsless than two weeks after a car bombing attempt in Times Square,lawmakers said on Wednesday.
U.S. Rep. Peter King's office said the DHS would give the city$111 million for mass transit security, a 27 percent cut from lastyear's funding of $153 million.
Port funding would also be cut by 25 percent, from $45 millionto $34 million, his office said.
The DHS budget is expected to be officially announced onThursday, but congressional staffers were briefed on the numbersahead of the announcement, his office said.
Though the cuts had been expected, that was before the attemptedTimes Square bombing on May 1, King's office said.
"The Times Square attempt served as a wake up call for many,but apparently not for the Obama Administration, which should bedramatically increasing New York City's homeland security funding,not decreasing it," King said in a statement.
The Republican, who is the ranking member on the Committee onHomeland Security, said the Obama administration's decision was"dangerous and unconscionable."
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, a Democrat, said the cuts show thatthe administration is "not doing right by New York City onanti-terrorism funding" and urged it to reconsider.
"Instead of distributing funding all over the country, theyshould focus their attention where the greatest threat exists,right here in New York," he said in a statement.
DHS said in a statement Wednesday that it was "activelyengaged" in supporting the city's anti-terror efforts through "anarray of grant programs."
The agency said it had awarded more than $457 million to thecity in 2009.
The city has said it wants to improve transit security byincreasing the number of security cameras in the subway system.
The transit system has been a target of plots in the past, mostrecently involving suspect Najibullah Zazi, who admitted to leadinga plot to bomb New York City subways.