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De Blasio In Washington To Fight Proposed Cuts To Federal Counterterrorism Funding

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other mayors are in Washington to fight a proposal that would slash federal counterterrorism funds.

De Blasio testified Tuesday before a House Homeland Security Committee to argue against a proposal that would cut the Urban Area Security Initiative nearly in half, from $600 million to $330 million.

The federal program helps cities prepare for terror attacks with training for police and firefighters, and also provides funding for extra patrols at area transit hubs and waterways.

"UASI helps us prevent terror; UASI funding helps employ the people who keep us safe," de Blasio said. "We cannot protect New York City sufficiently without this funding, and I believe it's a fair national priority to protect our largest city and a city that is so central to our national life."

In a letter, de Blasio and 17 other mayors said the proposed cuts would "directly jeopardize the safety of the citizens" and are "particularly alarming" in wake of the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.

The mayor told the committee that since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, New York City has stopped 20 terror plots, four of them within the two years since he took office.

"My message today is simple and urgent: we need the Congress to do its part to protect New York City and in fact all of the United States from security threats," de Blasio said.

The cuts are a part of President Barack Obama's proposed budget for fiscal year 2017, and will most likely be voted on later this year.

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