In a significant shift, leading Republicans in Congress are seeking to overhaul the way the federal government distributes antiterrorism aid, with an eye toward establishing a system that gives more money to New York City and other localities considered at higher risk of terrorist attack, reports the New York Times. The changes being contemplated seek to address mounting criticism that members of Congress have been so intent on grabbing shares of security money for their own districts that not enough is left for New York City and other municipalities where the threat is believed to be greatest. Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, the Republican majority leader in the House, said, “I tend toward designing a system that is based on threat rather than grants.”
The most recent – and potentially embarrassing – round of criticism came from members of the 9/11 commission, who issued a report in July that, among other things, pointedly called on Congress to begin distributing antiterrorism money on the basis of threat and risk, not pork-barrel politics. In the last allotment worked out by Washington politicians, New York got $104 million, or $5.47 per resident. The national state average was $7.77 per person; Wyoming, got $38.31 per person. New York was behind every state except California, according to New York officials.