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NYC Stiffed On $ecurity, Lawmakers Say

New York City, where a terrorist attack destroyed the World Trade Center towers, has again lost out in the distribution of federal anti-terrorism funding, members of the state's congressional delegation complained Saturday.

The numbers are not official yet, but Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Peter King said the city is scheduled to receive about $134 million from an urban security grant program — an increase of about 8 percent from last year but still $73 million less than the city received two years ago.

"Why do they persist in giving money to places that need it a lot less than New York City?" said Schumer, a Democrat. "It's a disgrace. It's confounding. ... It's once again unfair to New York. Our needs are different than any other city."

Last year, New Yorkers complained long and loudly after the Department of Homeland Security slashed anti-terrorism funding for the city by $83 million. America's largest city lost 40 percent of its funding just five years after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, while federal money was increased in such places as Louisville, Ky., and Omaha, Neb.

"They still just don't get it," said King, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee. "New York is by far the No. 1 terrorist target in the country, and no one else is even a close second. That's the reality. I'm disappointed and angry."

Word of the $10 million increase over last year was particularly painful since it came around the same time as terrorist activity in Britain, which led New York City officials to heighten security, Schumer said.

Russ Knocke, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, declined to comment, saying it was unclear when the anti-terrorism grants would be officially announced.

Both Schumer and King expressed hopes — and doubts — that the funding would be increased before the announcement.

"I doubt it, but hope springs eternal," King said. "We need to keep the pressure on."

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