By Alex Davidson
New York City will receive tens of millions of dollars of additional homeland security funds earmarked by the federal government Tuesday for cities and municipalities at the greatest risk for a potential terrorist attack.
Federal officials apparently heard the cries for more money from borough and city officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left the Mets’ season opener Monday to rush down to Washington, where a congressional hearing was underway on funding to fight terrorism.
Under the plan, New York will get a portion of $700 million set aside by the House Appropriations Committee. Full House and Senate approval is still pending.
Borough and city legislators have lobbied federal legislators hard for more money after President Bush last month only approved a $26.5 million handout to New York state for homeland security costs.
New York City tops the list of potential domestic targets for another terrorist attack with the U.S.-led war raging in Iraq.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and U.S. Reps. John Sweeney and James T. Walsh, two upstate Republicans, have been working to secure more money for the state and influence the formula used to appropriate money, which the legislators said left New York high and dry.
The president then suggested dividing up another $1.5 billion in funds for the 50 states, which sparked a debate as to the method for deciding who gets what amount of federal funds.
The new proposal, which could be approved as early as next week, will use money taken from other federal programs. Tom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, will play a large role in delegating the funds.
Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156