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Conference Report On H.R. 2892, Department Of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KING of New York. Madam Speaker, I thank the distinguished ranking member for yielding, and at the outset I want to commend Ranking Member ROGERS and Chairman PRICE for the outstanding job they have done on this bill. I certainly intend to vote for it. I will vote for it. I must say, however, there are three specific problems, three areas where I do have questions.

Number one is on the Secure the Cities program, which is essential to protect New York City from radiation, dirty bomb attacks. This House by an overwhelming margin approved an amendment by Congresswoman Clarke and me which would have put $40 million in the bill for that. Instead, in conference that was reduced to $20 million. This is a shortfall which I believe can have damaging impact.

Secondly, on the issue of Guantanamo, I concur in everything that Ranking Member ROGERS has said. To me, it is wrong to bring terrorists, enemy battlefield combatants, to our shores for any purpose, even to stand trial, especially to stand trial, because I believe they should be tried in military tribunals.

Again, I bring up the issue of New York City, where I am certain a number of these will be brought. Those who were involved in the 9/11 attacks will be brought to the Southern District of New York. To me, this is a timebomb waiting to happen, to have those terrorists in New York City for a protracted period of time before, during and after their trial.

Thirdly, on the issue of the firefighter grants, the President cut them by 70 percent. I know the committee put money back in, but the level was still lower than it was last year. This, I believe, is going to impact negatively on fire departments throughout our country.

Having said that, Madam Speaker, this is a fine bill. I look forward to supporting it. I thank the committee for the way they approached it in a bipartisan way. As Congresswoman Lowey said, our Nation is under threat. There are threats every day. They have targeted various cities throughout our country. This bill goes a long way towards resolving that.

But, again, on the issues of Secure the Cities, Guantanamo and the firefighter grants, I do have real issues, real concerns. Having said that, I support the bill.


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