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Reynolds Explains "No" Vote on Homeland Funding for Buffalo

By Eileen Buckley

Lancaster, NY – Western New York Congressman Tom Reynolds says he wants to make sure Buffalo gets back needed Homeland Security funding. The Clarence republican talked with reporters while in Lancaster Monday.

The Bush Administration wants to cut local Homeland Security dollars for Erie and Niagara Counties by 50%. Last week Congressman Reynolds voted against a plan to restore the cuts.

But Reynolds defends his actions. He says his "no" vote was procedural in nature on budget allocations for the 2007 fiscal year. He says he continues to fight for restoration of homeland security funding in the current year.

"The vote that occurred was on the '07 appropriation bill. That is an '07 bill that we were trying to legislate on, it was ruled out of order and it was procedural vote. The dilemma we have is on the '06 budget, getting what we think is a larger share versus the downgrading of our community on Homeland Security exposure. That is where the fight is, with the Homeland Security Department," said Reynolds.

Reynolds says they need to figure out why the application for Buffalo and Erie and Niagara Counties may not have been as strong to support the funding request. He says Buffalo, along with cities like San Diego, and Toledo were removed from the top of the funding list.

Reynolds says he does not want to lose the three million especially with what has occurred in Toronto with the arrests of 17 alleged terror suspects.

"The formula the Secretary uses is on threat. He saying there is less of a threat in Buffalo. I am saying that we have had more instances in Buffalo that the federal government has made an example of, whether it was the Patriot Act relative to the Lackawanna Six, or 90 miles from the second largest bridge crossing in the country as we look at Toronto. But then look at our own chemical plants and other facilities we have here as well as bridge travel," Reynolds said.

Reynolds says they need to get to root of problem and find out what they can do locally to improve the area's appeal for the homeland funding.