Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Credit: Charles Eckert

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo both predicted Friday dire consequences for the city's drive against terrorism if Congress cuts homeland security funding.

"We already bear too much of the costs for protecting the city, and these proposed cuts would be a severe blow to our counterterrorism efforts," Bloomberg said in a statement.

In letters to congressional leaders after the NYPD this week arrested two men in a bomb plot, Cuomo predicted widespread impact in the city and elsewhere in the state if House Republicans are successful in reducing homeland security grants to states and local agencies from $2.2 billion this year to $1 billion next year.

"These cuts would significantly impact our ability to train and equip police, firefighters, and other first responders and otherwise maintain the highest level of security New Yorkers need and deserve," Cuomo said in letters to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

"Thursday's arrest by the NYPD of two suspects who were targeting multiple synagogues and the Empire State Building demonstrate that the death of bin Laden does not mean the threat of terrorism has abated," Cuomo added.

City officials who didn't want to be identified said the extensive Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is linking 3,000 cameras and other surveillance devices into a central monitoring facility, would be immediately impacted by a loss of funding. In the wake of last year's Times Square bombing, the lower Manhattan initiative is also tying in midtown security cameras.

The officials said some NYPD and intelligence analysis operations, which police said were a vital part of the arrests of the two Queens men this week, and counterterrorism patrols would be interrupted. Police training and equipment purchases would be hurt, the officials said.

"The amount of reductions is so draconian that we are concerned about it," said Paul Browne, NYPD spokesman.

In Washington on Friday, a House Appropriations subcommittee approved, over Democrats' repeated objections, a draft bill that would cut the homeland security grants.

The bill will go to the full House Appropriations Committee later this month and after that the full House. It then must be reconciled with the version adopted by the Senate, where Democrats are in the majority.

Republicans said the grant program has many flaws and that the Department of Homeland Security does not have a good way to measure the effectiveness of how state and local agencies are using the billions of dollars of grants funded since Sept. 11, 2001.

Besides, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), the subcommittee chairman, said more than $13 billion in already awarded grants remain unspent. "We simply cannot keep throwing money into a clogged pipeline when our debt and deficit are growing out of control," Aderholt said.

Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said much of the unspent money is for construction projects that take years to complete. The money is commonly used to train first responders, install cameras and provide other security measures around potential targets, and to buy equipment.

New York Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) called the proposed cuts "outrageous at a time when threats to our security are coming from so many directions."

Deadly stabbing verdict ... Hunter Biden indicted .. High school sports awards Credit: Newsday

Macy's fire ... Harrison timesheet investigation ... Uncovering Santos ... Oyster Bay dining

Deadly stabbing verdict ... Hunter Biden indicted .. High school sports awards Credit: Newsday

Macy's fire ... Harrison timesheet investigation ... Uncovering Santos ... Oyster Bay dining

Latest video

Newsday LogoYour Island. Your Community. Your News.Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months