Maloney urges full federal funding to meet New York City’s homeland security needs
WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) is pushing her colleagues to fully fund the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) program, despite calls from the Obama administration to slash the program by nearly half. The initiative provided $587 million for anti-terrorism efforts last year, including $180,926,000 for the New York City area. Today Maloney sent a letter to the House Appropriators stressing the need for full UASI funding. Maloney also signed onto a letter authored by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence urging the House Appropriations Committee to fully fund New York’s homeland security needs. The letter was also signed by 15 other members of New York’s congressional delegation.
“New Yorkers know the consequences of a terrorist attack, and they have responded by putting in place essential safeguards to prevent and respond to future terror threats” Maloney wrote. “Full funding for UASI will ensure that New York and cities across the country can continue these critical efforts to keep our country safe.”
The delegation letter urges the subcommittee to fully fund the city and region’s homeland security needs through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) State and Local Grant Programs, including restoring the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), State Homeland Security Grant Program, Port Security Grant Program and Transit Security Grant Program to their FY2011 funding levels. These programs are important pieces of the national effort to strengthen homeland security preparedness, including the security of critical transportation and port infrastructure, and are an essential investment in New York’s ongoing counterterrorism operations and preparedness efforts.
The letter also calls for continuing to extend the performance period of the grants from its current length of two years to a period of three years. This gives local officials the flexibility to implement complex programs and oversee the procurement of customized equipment, as well as take into account ongoing input by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that periodically alters program implementation timelines.
For each of the past 4 years, Crowley and King have led a bipartisan letter from New York’s Congressional Delegation urging the House Appropriations Committee to appropriate levels for New York’s homeland security needs in the wake of proposed cuts or consolidation to federal Homeland Security Grants Programs in the Administration’s budget.
The text of Maloney’s letter follows:
Dear Chairman Carter and Ranking Member Roybal-Allard,
I write with deep concerns about the Administration’s proposal to cut critical funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) in Fiscal Year 2017.
As you know, UASI provides essential funding to state and local agencies in our country’s largest urban areas most at-risk for a terrorist attack. This program supports key investments in training, communications infrastructure, and specialized counterterrorism programs to make sure that our cities can detect, prevent, and respond to terror threats.
The November terrorist attacks in Paris demonstrated once again the very real threat terrorism poses for major cities, and underscore the need to support counterterrorism efforts.
As the country’s largest city, New York City remains a major terrorist target. The city is the financial and media capital of our country, the site of iconic sports and entertainment venues, and one of the country’s busiest transportation hubs. In light of recent terror attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, and elsewhere, we must ensure that local jurisdictions receive the resources they need to address these threats.
Unfortunately, New Yorkers know the consequences of a terrorist attack, and they have responded by putting in place essential safeguards to prevent and respond to future terror threats. Full funding for UASI will ensure that New York and cities across the country can continue these critical efforts to keep our country safe.
CAROLYN B. MALONEY
Member of Congress