Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, welcomed President Obama's endorsement of and $27 million request for the Securing the Cities Initiative in the Administration's 2012 budget proposal.
Securing the Cities is a partnership among federal, state and local authorities to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism through a ring of detection devices in and around the New York metropolitan area.
The $27 million request comes after the Obama Administration had sought to eliminate funding for the Securing the Cities Initiative for the past two years.
King said: "The Securing the Cities program is an absolutely vital security program, for the New York City/Long Island metropolitan area and for the nation as a whole. New York City remains al-Qaeda's top terror target, as evidenced by the at least 11 failed or foiled terror plots in New York City since 9/11. A radiological or nuclear attack in New York City would not only inflict a deadly toll in New York, but would also devastate the entire national economy. Intelligence experts believe that this type of dirty bomb attack would most likely be launched from the suburban counties -- that is Nassau, Suffolk or Westchester. That is why I have worked so hard since 2007 to ensure continued funding for Securing the Cities. I am pleased that the Obama Administration has finally realized how critical the Securing the Cities program is in our effort to secure our homeland from terrorists who continue to plot and execute attacks against us."
Last week, Chairman King sent a letter to President Obama urging him to include Securing the Cities funding in this budget proposal.
According to the President's proposal, the $27 million will fund enhanced mobile detection capabilities and equipment purchases. Additionally, the Administration proposes to expand the Securing the Cities program to one other high-risk urban area, building upon the NYC model, something that Chairman King has advocated in the past.
In 2007, King fought for and secured the full $40 million for Securing the Cities in the face of efforts to cut the funding in half. In 2008, King introduced H.R. 5531, "The Next Generation Radiation Screening Act of 2008," which passed the House with overwhelming support. In 2009, he introduced and saw House passage of H.R. 2611, which authorized continued funding for Securing the Cities. Also in 2009, King was instrumental in an appropriations bill amendment that resulted in continued funding for Securing the Cities.