Harry Reid on Homeland Security

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

Over the past two days, we've looked at how your homeland security dollars are being spent, and if they're being distributed fairly.
One of the Senate's most powerful leaders...is now sounding off about how much money Nevada is getting to fight terrorism.
Senator Harry Reid has been at the forefront of this hotly contested debate.
He and Senator John Ensign...have been lobbying for a change in the the way anti-terrorism funds are doled out.
Under the current formula, it doesn't matter if you're the number seven terrorist target in the country.
Homeland Security dollars aren't given to states based on threat, they are given to states based on population.
That doesn't fare well for Nevada...with ONLY two and half million people.
Forty to fifty million tourists visit the Silver State each year.
Yet, states like Wyoming and Vermont get more anti-terrorism money.
Senator Reid says where's the logic...when Las Vegas is a bigger threat than rural cities.
Reid says Clark County and Washoe County are struggling with unfunded mandates, by the federal government, as a result of 9-11 legislation.
Homeland security funding has dropped eleven million dollars since last year.
Senator Reid and Ensign were able to get more money for the next fiscal year...but they say it's not enough.
Reid says it won't be easy to get his bill through and change the formula.
He's competing with other states with similar threats.
Reid says sometimes the process isn't fair, and may depend on how much clout he has in Congress.


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