Reporting Rich Lamb
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - Over 100 New York City business leaders have written a joint letter to the leaders in Congress, asking that they not cut homeland security funding for the world’s biggest terrorist target.
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The letter says proposed federal funding reductions will “dramatically increase the vulnerability of New York City to international terrorism.”
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The signers include some very big names.
According to The Hill, among the signers is Kenneth Chenault of American Express, Terry Lundgren of Macy’s, and Rupert Murdoch of News Corp, as well as leaders from Viacom, Verizon, Time Warner Cable, JetBlue, Madison Square Garden, McGraw-Hill, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Con Edison, HSBC, MetLife, Liz Claiborne, Modell’s, and Deutsche Bank.
“Federal aid, in combination with local and private investment, has made it possible to subvert 13 terrorist plots against our city since September 11, 2001. In partnership with the federal government, our city and state have put in place the international intelligence network, the infrastructure, the person power and the technology required to keep those who would attack our country at bay. This is a bulwark of defense that protects not just New York, but all of America,” said the letter.
The letter was sent to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Partnership for New York City’s Kathryn Wylde says the CEOs’ message is “protecting this country from international terrorism has to be number one on everybody’s list, and that starts in New York City because we are the number one target.”
“I think the fact that business CEOs who support Republican members of Congress as well as Democrats are prepared to say ‘We cannot afford to cut funding for our Homeland Security efforts, particularly here in New York,’ I think that they will be listened to,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb. “This is the first time that we’ve really seen the business community come forward in large numbers, top leadership, to say there is one thing America cannot do without.”
Wylde says 30 of the CEOs will be traveling to Washington for face time with the Senators and Representatives.
A Senate bill would cut $650 million from the Department of Homeland Security budget and a House bill would cut over $1 billion.
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