NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The federal government is only offering only a fraction of the money the city has requested to pay for security outside Trump Tower, and one lawmaker says it is not the first time.
Mayor Bill de Blasio wanted up to $35 million for police overtime and other costs of safeguarding Trump from Election Day to his Jan. 20 inauguration. But stopgap spending legislation unveiled Tuesday in the Republican-led Congress includes $7 million.
The federal government is asking for more documentation before paying the full $35 million bill. U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said she has been down this road before when she was fighting for the 9/11 health bill.
“It took us 15 years to get the federal government to pay for the health care of our first responders,” Maloney said.
Maloney said she intends to demand the rest of the money, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
“If you don’t have it, that’s a no, so we’re going back to get the $28 million,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) saw the federal government’s choice not to pay the whole bill a preemptive strike, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
“if you don’t push and you don’t demand, the odds are you may not get it, so you don’t wait,” he said.
Since Trump won the Nov. 8 election, security around Trump Tower has been stepped up to extraordinary levels. The NYPD has played a major role, along with the Secret Service and Trump’s private security personnel.
“In an hour, (7,000) to 10,000 people walk in front of this building,” Maloney said.
The tower is now safeguarded by a phalanx of city police officers armed with assault weapons, bomb-sniffing dogs and concrete barriers. Police have closed some lanes on Fifth Avenue, barricaded the block where Trump Tower residents have a private entrance and set up checkpoints manned by officers in guard booths.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called the $7 million proposal “outrageous.” Congressional Democrats from New York have also complained, including Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who said Wednesday that “Republicans in Congress have abdicated this basic responsibility” of protecting the president-elect in an area so busy that 7,000 pedestrians per hour pass by.
But Long Island U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who also says the city deserves the $35 million reimbursement, said that the city’s request was a bit late.
“I do fault the de Blasio administration for not making the request until literally the last moment and not providing details,” King told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb this week. “When you’re dealing with congress, most of whom are not from New York, they look for an excuse not to give New York the money it needs.”
Similar reimbursements have been made in the past for large-scale events such as Pope Francis’ visit to the city last year.
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