The NYPD would lose nearly $200 million in federal funding for counterterrorism and disaster response programs under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, said Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday.
Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate minority leader, speaking at a news conference in Manhattan, vowed to lead a bipartisan fight to block the cuts, noting that Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) was an ally in the fight.
“When you see something, say something, and I’m saying something today because what we see would be devastating to New York’s efforts to protect itself from terrorism,” Schumer said, taking a line from the antiterrorism slogan plastered throughout subway stations, buses and airport terminals.
On Thursday, the Trump administration released its federal budget plan, which calls for a 10 percent increase in military spending, but also slashes spending across multiple federal agencies.
The Department of Homeland Security would see a 6.8 percent boost in spending, but the bulk of the increase — $2.6 billion — is earmarked for Trump’s proposed southern border wall. Under the plan, the department would cut $667 million in grants provided to local law enforcement agencies for counterterrorism and disaster response programs.
Schumer said last year the NYPD received $180 million in DHS grants and would be at risk of losing $200 million if Trump’s plan is approved.
The funding has been used to bolster security at area bridges, airports, subways, landmarks and waterways, and has helped the NYPD’s overall efforts, Schumer said, noting that the department has thwarted 20 terrorist plots against New York City since 2002.
“Cuts like the ones proposed by the Trump budget would not only weaken the security apparatus of this city, but they could turn a weak link into something far more serious,” Schumer said.
The senator said his fight to restore the grant funding comes as he and other local lawmakers continue fighting for the NYPD to receive full reimbursement from the federal government for the additional costs of protecting Trump Tower, where first lady Melania Trump and son Barron still reside.
NYPD and FDNY officials have said they spent more than $25 million to protect the building during Trump’s transition. The Republican-led Congress has authorized only a $7 million reimbursement.
“With the continued requirements of the NYPD to protect Trump Tower, federal funds to New York City should be increased, not decreased,” Schumer said.
King, in a phone interview Sunday, called the proposed cuts “dead on arrival,” and said he planned on rallying a bipartisan group of House members from the tri-state area to speak out against the law enforcement spending cuts.
“It’s a matter of life and death,” King said. “This is a federal responsibility that the NYPD is carrying out . . . protecting our country from terror threats. . . . Every penny is required and well spent.”
King said it was important for there to be “continuity” and a “steady stream of funding” for counterterrorism programs so investigations and security plans are not disrupted.
The White House and Trump’s Office of Management and Budget did not return a request for comment Sunday.