Sunday, July 31, 2005


This is a No-Brainer

For Security, Follow the House - New York Times: "Earlier this month, the Senate was faced with a fateful choice. It could have voted for Ms. Collins's irresponsible formula, which showers antiterrorism money on rural America, or an alternative formula backed by all six senators from New York, California and Texas to direct more money to high-risk states. In a low moment for the war on terror, the Senate voted for the Collins amendment. That was good news for rural areas that face little real threat of terrorism, but the chemical plants, ports and subway systems that terrorists are likely to take aim at would be left unnecessarily vulnerable.
After the Senate acted, the House voted for a far superior formula. It adopted an amendment sponsored by Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, and John Sweeney, a New York Republican, that would distribute more of the Homeland Security funds on the bases of threats, vulnerability and consequences of an attack. It would do this in part by using substantially lower 'state minimums' - money that is guaranteed to small, low-risk states regardless of whether they are in serious danger of being attacked.
Now it is up to the two houses to reconcile their funding formulas. There are reports that the Senate may be considering dropping the misguided Collins amendment, now that the House has passed a superior formula that would do more to make the nation safe. That is the right thing to do.
If the Senate stands by its formula, when the time comes to reconcile the House and Senate formulas, Dennis Hastert, the House speaker, and Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader, should make sure that the House holds firm. Defending America from acts of terrorism will not be easy in the best of circumstances. It will be a lot harder if the Collins amendment's formula becomes law, and scarce Homeland Security."

I am not a Susan Collins fan anyway, but this proves that I have very good tastes. She is trying to get Homeland Security money funneled to Maine in equal measure to NY and other high risk areas. Not only does this not make sense, but it is dangerous. The NYT Editor is right again, and we all need to read and then write letters to make sure that Susan loses this ignorant fight.

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