Newsday: King: Terror arrest shows need for funding No Homeland Security cuts

Newsday — by Will Van Sant and Paul Larocco

With the Homeland Security appropriation for next year being finalized in Congress, Rep. Peter King cited Sunday night’s announcement of a new terror plot to urge that funding for Long Island and New York City not be reduced.

King (R-Seaford), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and two Republican House members from the city have written to the chamber’s leadership arguing that the area remains a prized terrorist target and that an attack here would be “devastating to our national economy.”

He released his letter several hours before New York City officials announced the arrest of a homegrown terror suspect who authorities say planned to blow up patrol cars, post offices and returning military service members.

In an interview before that news conference Sunday night, King said the House version of the appropriation includes $1 billion in cuts to Homeland Security spending; $600 million would be cut in the Senate version. King said he and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) aim to ensure that whatever final reduction is approved, no security funds leave the region.

“We want to make sure that New York City and Long Island are protected,” King said. “We are without a doubt . . . the top target in the country.”

In the letter, King said that in addition to the World Trade Center attacks in 1993 and on 9/11, the city has been the target of 13 known terror plots.

He amended that number to 14 in his interview following the arrest announcement, and said the lack of federal involvement shows that local authorities need the funds more than ever.

“This shows the necessity of having strong local law enforcement in counterterrorism, especially in New York City and on Long Island,” King said. “If anything, this arrest is just one more dramatic example of how we can’t afford to lose even a penny.”