Key Lawmakers Question Homeland Security “Competency”


Mayors of New York City and Washington, D.C., denounced the U.S. Homeland Security Department yesterday for cutting anti-terrorism funding for the cities that were attacked on 9/11, reports USA Today. They urged Congress to review how the department gives out hundreds of millions of dollars for equipment and training. “It is a process that appears to be fundamentally broken,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, told the House Homeland Security Committee. The department last month announced that grants to New York City and Washington, D.C., would be cut 40 percent from last year. Some smaller metropolitan areas such as Louisville and Milwaukee received increases under the $710 million grant program, which rates cities’ applications based on risk and need.

Committee Chairman Pete King (R-N.Y.), said the funding decisions raise “very real questions about the competency of this department.” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Ms.) said Homeland Security’s “blunders are completely out of control and growing.” George Foresman, who runs the grants program, defended the cuts. He said that under a new system, emergency-management experts and responders evaluated cities’ applications based on risk and need.


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