Democrat Blasts Obama for Anti-Terror Budget Cuts

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Senator Chuck Schumer of New York is criticizing President Obama for his 2017 budget plan, which would cut millions of dollars from counterterrorism programs that New York City relies on for security. The prominent Democrat issued a statement last week in defense of the Urban Area Security Initiative, which would lose $250 million in funding under Obama’s new budget.

“UASI is the lifeblood of New York’s anti-terror programs and funds the massive terror prevention program for downtown Manhattan and its expansion into Times Square and Midtown,” Schumer said. “These proposed cuts are ill-advised and ill-timed and they must be reversed. End of story.”

The UASI program is used in New York to bolster the fire department’s response training as well as foster NYPD counterterrorism programs, including active shooter training. The money is also used to fund security teams that patrol airports and other transportation routes for terror activity.

“New York City remains terror target number one and the NYPD relies on these programs to keep us safe,” Schumer said at a press conference. “These dollars prevent costly and crippling disasters. But most importantly, these dollars save lives.”

The White House responded with a statement, promising that the cuts would not hinder New York’s ability to guard against terror threats. “The budget provides $100 million for a new Regional Preparedness Grants Competition and $39M for grants to help States prepare for and respond to complex coordinated terrorist attacks, both of which offer New York City additional opportunities to secure funding for counterterrorism efforts,” the White House said.

When a Democrat is complaining that the feds aren’t spending enough on security, you can rest assured that the cuts are indeed disastrous. Schumer hasn’t proven to be as dogmatically liberal as many of his Senate colleagues – he was one of the few Democrats to openly question Obama’s Iran deal – but he’s not going to openly attack the president without good cause. And it’s hardly a stretch of the imagination to think that Obama would cut programs meant to keep Americans safe. The money probably went to protecting an owl colony in Alaska or a grant to produce transgender toys for illegal immigrants.

Only a couple of short months after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, it’s unthinkable that our president would not be putting every available dollar into securing the homeland. Merely driving back ISIS with airstrikes is not enough. Terrorists do not necessarily need the network of the caliphate to carry out bloody attacks on innocent Americans. Obama shouldn’t get out of bed in the morning without this serious problem at the forefront of his mind. As president, his primary job is to keep this country safe.

Someone needs to remind him of that.