The White House has struggled for quite a while when it comes to disbursing federal funds to municipalities for counter-terrorism. In 2006, for example, the Bush administration, slashed money for Washington, D.C., and New York City using a bizarre grant process that no one could explain. At the same time, the administration released a risk scorecard for NYC that concluded that the home of the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Brooklyn Bridge has "zero" national monuments or icons.
Yesterday, however, the Bush gang decided the entire grant process is no longer worth the investment, and it would now slash counter-terrorism funds even more
The Bush administration intends to slash counterterrorism funding for police, firefighters and rescue departments across the country by more than half next year, according to budget documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The Homeland Security Department has given $23 billion to states and local communities to fight terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks, but the administration is not convinced that the money has been well spent and thinks the nation's highest-risk cities have largely satisfied their security needs.
The department wanted to provide $3.2 billion to help states and cities protect against terrorist attacks in 2009, but the White House said it would ask Congress for less than half -- $1.4 billion, according to a Nov. 26 document.
The plan calls outright elimination of programs for port security, transit security, and local emergency management operations in the next budget year. This is President Bush's last budget, and the new administration would have to live with the funding decisions between Jan. 20 and Sept. 30, 2009.
I'm trying to imagine the Republican response if a Democratic presidential candidate proposed a budget policy similar to Bush's plan. I have a strong hunch we'd hear words like "traitor" and "treason" thrown around quite a bit.
How bad is it? Even Joe Lieberman
thinks Bush is off-track.
In a joint statement, Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, chairman and ranking Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, said they "urge the administration to reconsider this wrong-headed strategy."