DHS Puts Security Cuts in Context

This afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security gave Congress an advance look at its budget for the next fiscal year, and the reaction from New York’s delegation wasn’t so good.

Within an hour, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand–along with Representative Peter King–railed against the cuts, which come less than two weeks after a bomb scare in Times Square.

Ms. Gillibrand said she was “deeply disappointed by the cuts,” and Mr. Schumer said they were proof that people in the administration “don’t get it.”

In response to the outcry, a spokesman for DHS offered some context.

“DHS is actively engaged in supporting New York City’s first responders and overall preparedness for acts of terrorism and other disasters through an array of grant programs,” said DHS Press Secretary Clark Stevens in an email. “In 2009, DHS awarded more than $457 million to New York City to prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other threats.”

“The Recovery Act appropriated $300 million for Port and Transit Security Grant Programs, more than $100 million of which went to the New York City area. In FY 2010 Congress subsequently appropriated fewer dollars for Port and Transit grants as a result of dollars already provided under the Recovery Act.”

DHS won’t unveil the exact figures until tomorrow, but according to one official, when funds from the Recovery Act are added to the 2010 allocation, New York City ends up with a net gain of more than $40 million dollars. DHS Puts Security Cuts in Context