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After White House Made Ill-Advised Cuts to Anti-Terrorism Funds, Schumer Vowed Fight; Dept. of Homeland Security’s UASI Program Provides Critical Funding To Terror-Target Cities Like NYC & Funds Key Tools To Keep NYPD A Step Ahead Of Terrorists

Schumer Announces Congress Will Pass Homeland Security Spending Bill With $600M Going to DHS’s UASI Program; Spending Bill Reverses White House’s Proposal to Cut NYC’s Terror Funds By Nearly $300M

Schumer: Absurd Cuts To NYC Anti-Terror Funding Have Been Rightfully Restored

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Congress is set to pass a Homeland Security budget that rightfully restores $600 million in key anti-terror funds. Earlier this year, Schumer vowed to fight against the ‎White House’s budget‎ proposal because it made ill-advised cuts to funding for critical anti-terrorism programs that enable New York law enforcement‎ to prevent and respond to terror attacks. The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which helps cities to prevent, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, was recommended for a funding level of only $330 million in the President’s request for Fiscal Year 2017, after being funded at $600 million in Fiscal Year 2016.

“From the moment these ill-advised cuts were proposed, we earnestly worked to overturn them," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “We successfully pushed to fully fund the vital anti-terror programs, like UASI, that help keep New York City safe in an era of rising and mutating terror threats."

Schumer added, “UASI is the cornerstone of effective preparedness and prevention against terror attacks and in an era of rising terror threats, our support for anti-terror programs should not be falling. With this increase in funds, the NYPD can continue to do all it does to keep New Yorkers safe and secure.”

The UASI program provides funding to address the unique needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas like the New York metropolitan area. Schumer noted that the President has been strong on security in general but this funding cut by bureaucrats was a mistake. Schumer today announced that, after his push, Congress’ budget increases UASI funds and restores these cuts back to the 2016 funding level of $600 million.

Congress’s Homeland Security spending bill now includes $600 million for UASI, compared to the White House’s $330 million proposed for UASI.

The Homeland Security Grant Program ‎plays an important role in the implementation of the National Preparedness System and is comprised of three interconnected grant programs: The Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Operation Stonegarden. Together, these grant programs fund a range of preparedness activities, including planning, organization, equipment purchase, training, exercises, and management and administration. Schumer has long advocated for robust UASI funding for New York City through the Congressional appropriations process.

Schumer explained that urban cities like New York City rely on UASI funds to maintain terrorism prevention and response infrastructure. For instance, Schumer explained that New York City uses a portion of UASI funds to support crucial First Responder Training efforts. Examples of this include the Fire Department's (FDNY) Tiered Response Training and the Police Department's (NYPD) Counter-Terrorism Training, such as the active shooter course. UASI funds also pay for coordinated regional planning exercises throughout the New York City Metropolitan area. The exercises are designed to prepare and coordinate multi-jurisdictional emergency response related to a large and catastrophic event. UASI funds have been used on Ground Law Enforcement Security Measures, which includes heavy-weapons teams that conduct ongoing patrols at transit hubs, airports, bridges, subways, waterways and highly visited landmarks‎.