Senator Schumer, Mayor de Blasio and NYPD commissioner Bratton slammed President Obama on his new budget, which includes massive cuts to anti-terrorism programs.
When fellow democrats call out the current democratic president in the heat of a presidential primary – the issue warrants some attention. The new budget recently proposed by the White House included cuts to the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) from $600 million down to $330 million. The decrease, which would begin in the 2017 Fiscal Year, stunned New York City officials, many of whom made public comments openly slamming the cuts.
NY Senator Chuck Schumer said the cuts are, “ill-advised and ill-timed and they must be reversed, end of story” and that “it makes no sense to propose cuts to vital terror-prevention programs like UASI.” Mayor di Blasio echoed his statements, “Anti-terror funding is no place to cut corners…I’m certainly going to let the president know that we care deeply in New York and we need this money to be restored.” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton called the cuts, “unconscionable” “extraordinary” and “indefensible” and NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph Esposito said the cuts would be so detrimental to OEM that they would, “almost have to close our doors.” A portion of these government allocated funds go to enhanced training initiatives, exercises, drills and simulations to help with prepardness and response time.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded to the harsh criticism stating, “When people look at the facts here, when it comes to funding for Homeland Security, they’ll recognize that he’s wrong this time.”
This meager defense does little to quell the worry of big city dwellers who are undoubtedly looking at the nearly 50% cut to anti-terrorism programs as remarkably ill-timed, due to the recent terrorist attacks around the world. The White House needs to issue a full response, reverse the decrease, or risk this blip turning into a full on scandal, because right now, these cuts just seem reckless and ill-conceived.
by Jesse Mechanic