Thursday, July 13, 2006

Protect New York

New York Daily News:
WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Schumer says the yokels who rated New York City's terror attack risk need to go.

The New York Democrat is pushing a bill to quash Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's beloved "peer review" program, which had teams of anonymous peons decide in secret that the city's terror funding should be slashed.

This year, the Chertoff way - which Schumer said is flawed and politicized - resulted in New York City losing $80 million in funds to protect against security threats.

"It's the most idiotic procedure," Schumer told the Daily News yesterday. "A sheriff in a small town in the Rockies shouldn't be deciding how homeland security funding is spent. It's just ridiculous ... they don't have the experience.

"Chertoff assured us that this money would be distributed in a smart way, and it was done in a dumb and probably political way," he said.

Schumer's bill proposes eliminating "peer review" in deciding the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative grants, which totaled $710 million this year. The overall fund was cut 14% from 2005, but New York lost more than 40% of its annual funding.

But it's unclear if Schumer's measure could pass the GOP-controlled Congress to reach President Bush's desk, since it's a pork barrel bonanza for greedy lawmakers from no-threat zones.


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