After a lot of squabbling, New York is getting a little more Homeland Security money. How much is anybody's guess.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) claimed Wednesday evening that the Department of Homeland Security released about $80 million to the New York State Office of Homeland Security -- money which had been awarded by DHS back in 2008, but was held up by bureaucratic red tape until this week.
The DHS late Wednesday couldn't confirm that exact number, but did note that some $70 million in funding was released to New York agencies earlier this week
On Wednesday morning, King had announced that the DHS on Tuesday released a long-delayed $41 million to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
King, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, last week released a letter calling on DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to clear a bureaucratic logjam he said prevented millions of dollars in security funding from reaching transit agencies across the country.
Napolitano meanwhile sent a letter to King saying that between 2006 and 2009, New York had allowed about $275 million in port and transit security funding to sit unused.
In his letter, King, of Long Island, cited a 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office report estimating that from fiscal years 2006 to 2008, before Obama took office, millions of dollars in security funding had been tied up because of bureaucratic red tape. For that reason, King estimated, $421 million in 2009 and about $348 million in 2010 had not been spent.
"Secretary Napolitano must immediately end the delays and fix the broken process of distributing mass transit security grant money to ensure that it can be put to work quickly and protect lives against terrorists," King wrote.
Following that statement, the DHS said $330 million in unspent funding had gone through all legally required reviews and was available to transit agencies that applied for it.