2004-10-08 / Community

Weiner Bill: More Anti-Terrorism Funds

The new bill that would restructure anti-terror aid just got a lot better for New York City, according to Congressman Anthony Weiner. 

Improvements to the bill would allow the City to seek funding aid for past homeland security expenses and for the salaries of it’s 1,000 person homeland security task force.  These changes, which were approved by the House Judiciary Committee, and authored by Weiner, could mean as much as $300 million for New York City. A previous effort by Weiner assured that the funding would be distributed based on threat. 

Homeland security costs New York City an estimated $261 million a year.  The federal government should cover the cost—but it never comes close.

In 2003, the City received only $130 million. In 2004 even less: $94 million. That’s a total two year shortfall of $295 million. The reason: the Department of Homeland Security has treated anti-terror funds like just another pork barrel program, diverting millions from cities that need it to places that don’t. Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act , which includes three important provisions that will pump more homeland security dollars into the City, help defray the costs of future expenditures, and even get back some money already spent. 

New York City Amendments 

1,000 cops covered . Under an amendment crafted by Rep. Weiner and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the City will be eligible to apply for federal funds to cover the salaries of police officers whose work is devoted exclusively to counterterrorism and intelligence.  New York City has 1,000 such cops.

Past expenditures eligible for funds.  Under an amendment authored by Weiner, the City will be eligible to apply for federal funds to recoup past homeland security expenditures not already covered by the federal government. The City has spent $295 million more than it has received from the federal government over the past two years.

Threat funding follows the threat.  Under an amendment offered previously by Weiner and included in the bill, the Department of Homeland Security will place the greatest emphasis on threat when disbursing homeland security funds. But the news out of Judiciary Committee wasn’t all good, Weiner said.

A fourth Weiner measure that would have guaranteed New York City at least 8.5% of homeland security funding in the bill was sent to party line defeat, losing 19 to 12. 

“This is a far from perfect bill, but it contains important gains for the City,” said Rep. Weiner.  “The NYPD are the front line of defense for New York City and America. It’s time the federal government footed more of our homeland security bill.”

Weiner’s amendments were included in HR 10, which passed the Judiciary Committee last night.  Weiner called on Mayor Bloomberg to use his influence with the GOP leadership to ensure that the pro-New York City provisions remain in the final bill. 

 

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