Reps. Roybal-Allard, Quigley, Nadler Lead Bicameral Letter Calling on Biden Administration to Protect UASI Funding
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Mike Quigley (IL-05), and Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) led a letter to incoming Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to request that the Biden Administration reject changes proposed by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) under the Trump Administration that threaten to divert funding in the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) away from cities that rely on the funds to keep Americans safe. Under the Trump Administration’s proposed new procedures, there would be no guaranteed minimum allotments for cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Without committed funding streams for the program, many of UASI’s prevention and recovery initiatives could be shut down permanently. In addition to Roybal-Allard, Quigley, and Nadler, the letter was signed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, and 40 additional House and Senate Democrats.
The members noted in their letter that since its inception following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the UASI program has directed homeland security funds to the nation’s highest-threat metropolitan areas. Because cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York face complicated threat environments, it is crucial that they are provided with the funding they need to invest in safety-related resources. The UASI program was created to assist urban areas in their efforts to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, and maintaining UASI funding is critically needed to keep our major cities safe.
“The danger to our urban areas has not gone away, yet funding for this important grant program hangs in the balance,” wrote the members. “Failure to maintain for a strong and functional UASI program threatens to undermine the successful federal investments we have made in regional homeland security capacity over the past decade. We therefore urge you to reject, or at the very least delay, these proposed changes prior to the issuance of a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to consider alternate proposals that will more effectively keep our cities safe.”
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.