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City Officials: Congress Shortchanging NYC on Trump Security

  • Associated Press

FILE - A heavily armed New York City police officer stands guard outside the Fifth Avenue public entrance to Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 15, 2016.

New York City's mayor and other Democratic officials said Wednesday that Congress was proposing to pitch in far too little for protecting Trump Tower: $7 million, or a fifth of what New York requested.

“New York City taxpayers should not be on the hook for 80 percent of the national bill'' to protect President-elect Donald Trump and his family, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement calling for Congress to “step up” in coming months.

Since Trump won the Nov. 8 election, security around the eponymous Fifth Avenue skyscraper where the Republican lives and works has been stepped up to extraordinary levels. The New York Police Department has played a major role, along with the Secret Service and Trump's private security personnel.

FILE - Heavily armed police officers stand guard in the rain outside Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 29, 2016.
FILE - Heavily armed police officers stand guard in the rain outside Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 29, 2016.

The tower is now safeguarded by a phalanx of city police officers armed with assault weapons, bomb-sniffing dogs and concrete barriers. Police have closed some lanes on Fifth Avenue, barricaded the block where Trump Tower residents have a private entrance and set up checkpoints manned by officers in guard booths.

De Blasio wanted up to $35 million in federal reimbursement for police overtime and other costs of safeguarding Trump from Election Day to his Jan. 20 inauguration. But stopgap spending legislation unveiled Tuesday in the Republican-led Congress includes $7 million.

The legislation would keep the government running through April. The House is expected to vote as soon as Thursday, and the Senate soon after.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called the $7 million proposal “outrageous.” Congressional Democrats from New York have also complained; one, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, said Wednesday that “Republicans in Congress have abdicated this basic responsibility” of protecting the president-elect in an area so busy that 7,000 pedestrians per hour pass by.

Similar reimbursements have been made in the past for large-scale events such as Pope Francis' visit to the city last year.

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