President Bush’s startling proposal to slash homeland security funding by more then half next year is an ill- conceived plan that illustrates, yet again, how misguided and irresponsible this president is in battling the threat of terrorism.
The Bush administration plans to nix the Department of Homeland Security’s request for $3.2 billion to help states and cities protect against terrorist attacks in 2009, and will instead ask Congress for $1.4 billion, or less then half the requested amount, according to news reports.
A budget cut like this puts the entire country in peril, but New York State and City would feel the cuts most sharply. Just two years ago, New York City saw a nearly 40 percent cut in its anti-terrorism funding by the Homeland Security Department, while less populous locales saw dramatic increases in their security funding.
New York, one of the country’s most important cities and a target of two terrorist attacks, cannot and should not stand for any more cuts in its security funding. Budget cuts include decreased funding for police, firefighters and rescue departments nationwide and the plan would eliminate programs for port security, transit security and local emergency management operations in the next budget year.
I urge members of Congress to reject President Bush’s dangerous proposal to limit security on U.S. soil for government’s most important role is protecting the lives of its citizens.