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Federal funds slashed for MTA, Port Authority security

May 12, 2010 8:32:21 PM PDT
Eyewitness News has learned that the MTA and Port Authority will apparently be getting less funding from two Department of Homeland Security grant programs.

The Department of Homeland Security is slashing funding for New York City area mass transit security and port security by 25 percent.

Word of the decision sparked outrage among New York lawmakers.

"The Times Square attempt served as a wake up call for many, but apparently not for the Obama Administration, which should be dramatically increasing New York City's homeland security funding, not decreasing it," Rep. Peter King said.

Sen. Charles Schumer agreed, saying, "they just don't get it and are not doing right by New York City on anti-terrorism funding.

"We urge them to reconsider this decision. Instead of distributing funding all over the country, they should focus their attention where the greatest threat exists, right here in New York," he added.

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Under the Transit Security Grant Program, DHS this year will provide the New York City area with $111 million, down from $153 million.

Under the Port Security Grant Program, DHS this year will provide the NYC area with $33.8 million, down from $45 million.

Earlier today, top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee called Tuesday for "new defenses" in the wake of the Times Square bombing attempt that would tighten the screening and tracking of travelers and money flowing between the U.S. and Pakistan.

"We are facing a new kind of attacker," one which is "already here, hiding in plain sight," Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said.

Feinstein and other members of the panel were briefed in private Tuesday by intelligence and law enforcement officials on the investigation into Times Square car bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad and how similar cases could be prevented in the future.

Shahzad, a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen who returned from a visit to his homeland in February, is accused of abandoning a bomb-laden SUV in Times Square on May 1. The homemade bomb malfunctioned, and Shahzad was captured two days later trying to fly out of the country.

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