Schumer wants federal security funds for NYC

In the wake of New York City's bomb scare Saturday night, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling on the Obama administration to fund a federal program designed to defend against explosive devices.

A makeshift bomb was found in an SUV parked in Times Square -- one of the most crowded areas of New York City -- this weekend. The incident is under investigation, and members of Congress are closely monitoring the situation.

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Schumer is holding a press conference Monday to call on the administration to fully fund the "Securing the Cities" program, which was created during the Bush administration to help create a sophisticated detection system for "dirty bombs," which are makeshift biological and radioactive weapons.

He also wants more money for a New York City Police Department surveillance program, which monitors the area in which the incident took place. 


New York's congressional delegation has been particularly active in the wake of the bomb scare. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee,  said  the plot does not appear to have been carried out by a foreign organization.

The Obama administration removed funding from the program in the next budget. Critics have questioned the viability of the program, noting it might be technologically impossible. 

Schumer's office said earlier this year it restored $18.5 million for the program after a past attempt to strip its funding.

Officials have said that, in the absence of funding, New York City could apply for federal Homeland Security grants to continue the program.