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Bloomberg Testifies at Homeland Security Committee

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Homeland Security officials will be grilled this morning on Capitol Hill over why they're giving significantly less money to New York and other large cities. WNYC's Dan Blumberg reports

Today's hearing will be different from a similar hearing last week in two key respects -- Mayor Bloomberg will testify and he'll be able to point to fresh evidence of why the city needs more money. News of al-Qaeda's aborted attack on the subway has refueled the uproar over the city's 40 percent cut from last year.

One reason for the cut was that federal officials didn't want the money to be spent on operating costs, like police overtime. But, city officials argue that when they responded to the 2003 cyanide threat, extra police patrols were exactly what they needed. Mayor Bloomberg says he's not optimistic congress will authorize better funding this year.

On Monday he passed up a chance to press President Bush over the funding cuts. Instead the Mayor thanked the President for supporting a risk based funding formula and blamed Congress for shortchanging the city.

Today, it's his turn to go face to face with Congress and it'll be interesting to see whether he changes his tune.

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