FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2005
Schumer: With London Again In Our Prayers, U.S. Must Beef Up Mass Transit Security Immediately
Second Set of Attacks on London’s Mass Transit System in Two weeks Serve as Yet Another Wake-Up Call for U.S. Homeland Security Efforts Congress Inexplicably Rejected Significant Increase in Mass Transit Funding Last Week, It Should Reconsider U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released the following statement today on the attacks in London today:
“This latest incident on the London subways is yet another wakeup call for the Congress and the Administration to do more to protect our mass transit systems. It is clear that transit, with wide open accessibility and lots of people gathering in one place, needs far more protection. For every seven dollars we spend on every airline passenger we spend just over a penny for every mass transit or rail passenger. Then, Congress, last week, in a move that is hard to explain, refused to increase homeland security transit funding by more than $100 million. We need to do better, for the protection of New York and America.”
Last week, Schumer, with a bi-partisan coalition of Senators, offered an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill would have given $1.16 billion for mass transit security. The amendment was not endorsed by the administration and then obtained majority support in the Senate but was rejected by the Senate by a vote of 53-45, which fell short of the 60 votes needed to waive the budget cap. The House passed Homeland Security appropriations bill included $50 million more mass transit security than the Senate passed $100 million.
Schumer has repeatedly urged the Administration to augment rail and mass transit security. Schumer called for the federal government to accelerate the development of detectors for rail and subway stations. Currently, individual transportation systems in major U.S. cities are developing their own detection devices, but Schumer said today that a coordinated effort funded by the federal government is needed to overcome the many technological barriers that face scientists and engineers working on such systems.
Schumer is a lead sponsor of the Transportation Security Improvements Act of 2005 (S.1052, 109th) which would spend over $750 million over three years for rail/bus security, along with billions more dollars to beef up security for all modes of transportation across the county.