Due to the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on the U.S., efforts to fortify homeland economic security is being discussed. The terrorist attacks have affected cities everywhere, including their budgets, economies, and security. U.S. mayors from all over the U.S. are coming together now calling for financial aid for the increasing budget for public safety. The nation’s Mayors and Governors are faced with unprecedented, permanent responsibilities and challenges in providing more homeland security for all Americans.
The magnitude and urgent nature of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, anthrax crisis, and national alerts have caused mayors nationwide to initiate their own efforts to coordinate and implement a comprehensive state-based strategy to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within their own borders. In light of these efforts, the federal government must properly reimburse states for security related spending, including the defense of critical infrastructure, communication networks, the food supply, and emergency preparedness.
The release of the 10 point plan, made up by more than 150 national mayors, is asking to be repaid for the billions of dollars they spent defending their cities from future terrorist attacks. The mayors are asking for block grants they can spend whenever and wherever they see fit, rather than targeted assisted, and reimbursement payment for had already been spent. The proposal includes large grants for the police, fire and other emergency service personnel nationwide. This would help safeguard the cities and the people from any future attacks.
President Bush recognizing the significant need has also proposed in almost doubling the budget on homeland security to protect the U.S. from any terrorism. Their main objective is to secure homeland security and strengthen our nation. The issue that is worrying everyone is how the Administration’s plans for distributing these funds will work. At a time when state budgets are under pressure from the recession, the new resource demands of the war on terrorism mean less money coming from Washington, which is leading to many disagreements between federal and state and local governments.
The disagreement over the grants and funds are arising from each state mayor. They are disagreeing over the distribution and the money, whether it would reimburse them for the money already spent, and whether or not the grants would be retroactive, allowing the mayors to pay back some of the money spent. The focus seems to be on “first responders,” which seem very unfair to many national mayors, since there are so many cities that need security since the September 11th attacks.
While state and local governments have primary responsibility for managing the medical and other consequences of a domestic terrorist incident, the federal government, plays a key role to increase the efforts of state and local authorities. This effort will involve major new programs and significant reforms by the Federal government. This will also involve new or expanded efforts by state and local governments, private industry, non-governmental organizations, and citizens. The plan is to incorporate both state and local governments with the federal government to ensure national economic security such as detecting, preparing for, preventing, protecting against, and recovering from terrorist threats or attacks to the United States. This collaborative effort is to ensure national economic security and to provide protection for the American citizens.