Menendez: Alleged Plot Underscores Dire Need For Risk-Based Homeland Security Funds

Menendez: Alleged Plot Underscores Dire Need For Risk-Based Homeland Security Funds

Senator: Would-be terrorist with internet connection recognizes New York landmarks Secretary Chertoff doesnt

Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) released a statement following news reports of an alleged terror plot targeting the New York region.

This morning I, like every other New Jerseyan, was disturbed to read news reports detailing terrorists alleged plans to detonate an explosive device in a tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York. While we dont yet know the full extent of their plans, or if those plans would have been successful, we do know one thing: their intent was to kill thousands of Americans and to terrorize millions more.

More than anything else, if true, these news reports offer incontrovertible proof that the federal governments homeland security strategy is flawed in its rhetoric and in its application. Let me be clear: Americans who face the greatest risk should receive the greatest amount of funding. How anyone at any level of government could argue otherwise is beyond me and shows a flagrant disregard for the realities of protecting our homeland.

For too long, the federal government has distributed security grants in a manner that seems to be based merely on whim. It certainly is not based on risk. It defies common sense that a would-be terrorist in Beirut with an internet connection recognizes that the New York region is rife with significant landmarks yet Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff doesnt.

Included in the 9/11 Commission Report was a call to distribute homeland security grants solely on risk. I supported that call then and continue to now, which is why I offered bills in the Senate and the House that called for risk-based security funding, as recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

Ive said it before, and todays news reports confirm this, so long as Homeland Security grants are awarded based on factors other than risk, those states most at-risk will continue to lack the necessary resources to protect the people they serve.

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