Nadler Introduces Amendment to Preserve Homeland Security Funding for New York

Jun 1, 2004

Washington, DC -- To ensure that regions more vulnerable to terrorist attacks get the homeland security funding they need, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today introduced an amendment to the "Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act." The legislation, which was considered by the House Transportation Committee, aims to change how federal homeland security grants are allocated.

The Transportation Committee's legislation combines the State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Urban Area Security Initiative, and directs that thirty percent of the grants be distributed equally to the states and that the remaining funds be distributed on a competitive grant basis. The legislation also allows homeland security funding to be used for incidents other than terrorism -- such as natural disasters.

"The proposed homeland security funding formula is flawed and is a detriment to New York City's first responders and population as a whole," stated Nadler. "The focus of my amendment is to ensure that the states that are at highest risk of a terrorist attack -- such as New York -- don't lose out to states whose need is not as great -- such as Wyoming. We also must allocate this federal funding wisely. Homeland security funding should be used for just that -- homeland security -- and not for the response to hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes."

The Nadler amendment to the bill would have eliminated the state formula of the legislation and directed that grants must be prioritized based on the degree to which a grant will lessen the threat, vulnerability and consequences of a terrorist attack to persons and critical infrastructure. Chairman Don Young (R-AK) and Ranking Member James Oberstar (D-MN) agreed to work with Mr. Nadler on language that will create a dedicated funding stream for counter-terrorism to high-threat areas before the bill is considered on the floor of the House.

"New York City has been targeted by terrorists several times since 1993 and remains a primary target," said Nadler. "It is integral that Congress allocates funding to places like New York City, who need it most. I will continue to fight to ensure that lawmakers do not ignore the needs of New York City's first responders and citizens."