Obama faces backlash for NYC security funding cuts

May 13, 2010 2:21:55 PM PDT
There are some harsh words Thursday for President Barack Obama and his plan to slash spending on security.It would mean the loss of millions of dollars for the Metropolitan area.

Security for mass transit, landmarks, airports and virtually everything else will face the budget knife as the Obama administration tells New York to do without.


Obama is expected to be in New York City Thursday for a Democratic fundraiser and to shake hands with many of the first responders of the attempted Times Square bombing. And he can expect an earful.

Coming barely two weeks after the bombing attempt, Democrats and Republicans call the cuts an indefensible slap in the face.

The administration is moving to sharply reduce the federal dollars that now go to protect mass transit, along with the region's airports and seaports.

"I'm hopeful that they will change their position, realize their mistake and give us a greater percentage and a greater amount of dollars," Senator Charles Schumer said.

"It puts New York at risk and it makes you wonder about how serious the Obama administration is about defending New York against Islamic terrorism," Rep. Peter King said.

Grants from Homeland Security to the MTA will be cut by $42 million, a decrease of 27 percent. And for the Port Authority, the grants are being slashed by $11 million, a cut of 25 percent.

Straphangers don't see the sense in making these cuts.

"That's too bad, because it's quite important, especially for the New York City subway system that transports hundreds of thousands of people a day," one subway rider said.

As for the White House, officials say New York City already received $100 million in stimulus money that should have been used for security on the trains, buses and tunnels. And they say when you compare the amount of money given to New York City by the Obama administration to the Bush administration, it is far more.