Schumer Blasts Homeland Security Department

Posted May 12, 2010 at 6:17pm

Sen. Charles Schumer blasted the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, saying funding decisions forced New York City to cut transit and port security spending.

“For the administration to announce these cuts two weeks after the attempted Times Square bombing shows they just don’t get it and are not doing right by New York City on anti-terrorism funding,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.

“We urge them to reconsider this decision,” Schumer, the Democratic Conference vice chairman, added. “Instead of distributing funding all over the country, they should focus their attention where the greatest threat exists — right here in New York.”

The move extends a hard line Schumer has pushed recently with the administration on homeland security issues, particularly in the wake of the terrorist bombing attempt in Manhattan’s Times Square. On Tuesday, Schumer called on the State Department to add the Pakistani Taliban to its designated list of terrorist organizations. Using similarly strong words,

Schumer told reporters Tuesday, “I was shocked to learn that the group was omitted from the list, especially in the wake of the Times Square incident.”

Still, Schumer maintained his push was not a rebuke of the administration.

“We want to weigh in and make our voices heard. That is not commenting negatively on the administration’s fight on terrorism,” he said Tuesday.

Schumer also pushed for additional funds for New York earlier this year when the Justice Department was poised to conduct a civilian trial of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Manhattan. Those talks have since calmed as the administration continues to explore how to proceed on the issue.