The Bush administration is handing out $675 million more to help metropolitan areas prepare for terrorist attacks. Several New York lawmakers promptly called their share inadequate.
The New York Times says the money is part of a $725 million aid package that Congress approved to help places considered most vulnerable to attack. The pot for high-risk urban areas was created this year to address concerns of New York lawmakers from both parties who complained that the city was being shortchanged because Washington was distributing security money to every state, regardless of the threats they faced.
Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat from Manhattan, asked, “Who would believe that New York City – still the terrorists’ No. 1 target – has spent a billion dollars out of its own pocket for security, but gets only a fraction from the federal government? But that is the sad truth.”
The bulk of the $675 million in grants announced yesterday was divided among 50 cities, including New York City ($47 million), Chicago ($34 million), Washington ($29.3 million), Los Angeles ($28 million), San Francisco ($26.4 million), Philadelphia ($23 million) and Houston ($19.9 million). Rachael Sunbarger, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, dismissed the lawmakers’ complaints, noting that the administration had disbursed nearly $240 million to the New York City region before releasing the latest round of money.