Donovan to hold hearing on Obama anti-terror funding cuts
U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, who has been tapped to head a House subcommittee on emergency preparedness, will hold a hearing on March 15 on President Barack Obama’s proposed cut in anti-terrorism funding.
Patrick Ryan, Donovan’s communications director, told theBrooklyn Eagle that the hearing will take place on Capitol Hill and that the congressman is eager to hear from witnesses about the possible impacts of the cut the president is proposing.
Donovan (R-C-Southwest Brooklyn-Staten Island) was appointed by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) to serve as chairman of the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. Donovan is also a member of the Homeland Security Committee.
Right out of the gate, Donovan will be taking a close look at a controversy.
Obama’s budget calls for cutting the funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative, an anti-terror program, from $600 million to $330 million. The proposed cut is opposed by a broad cross-section of lawmakers and officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York), Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Donovan said terrorism prevention and disaster response are issues critical to South Brooklyn, Staten Island and New York City as a whole.
“Staten Island and South Brooklyn have seen first-hand our government’s triumphs and failures in disaster prevention and response. Now, you’ll have a hometown voice leading the subcommittee responsible for the work that’s so important to our community,” Donovan said in a statement.
McCaul said Donovan is the right person for the job. He pointed out that prior to winning election to Congress in May of 2015, Donovan served as Staten Island district attorney for more than a decade.
“Dan has shown great leadership on the Homeland Security Committee since being elected to Congress less than a year ago. He will continue to draw on his experience as a former district attorney by conducting rigorous oversight of DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and focusing on the posing threats our nation faces. I am confident Dan will continue to serve the committee with distinction as he begins his new role,” McCaul said in a statement.
The subcommittee has previously looked into DHS’s capacity to detect biological weapons and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) ability to respond to large-scale disasters like Superstorm Sandy.
Donovan said he intends to continue that work as well as focus on three areas: the preparedness of American cities against terrorist attacks, work to defend coastal regions like New York against the next major storm, and the capacity of federal agencies to respond to major disasters and attacks.
“In the past 15 years, our city has endured unimaginable tragedy at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists and Mother Nature. Future disasters will come, and when they do, our government must be prepared,” Donovan said.