Congresswoman Val Demings has introduced an amendment to a Homeland Security bill that could bring back counter terrorism funding to Orlando. Last week, Orlando was left off of the Urban Area Security Initiative appropriations list, the Pulse nightclub terror attack and it’s record breaking number of visitors to the area.
The changes would create a new grant program, that would authorize at least $39 million for high-risk urban areas that were previously eligible to receive funds from UASI. Twenty-nine cities, including Orlando, received federal UASI funds in past years and would be able to apply for the funding under the new program.
“Earlier this week, we observed the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub attack. The preparation that led to our local first responders’ successful response was created through previous grant investments, particularly the Urban Area Security Initiative,” said Demings. “Unfortunately, the old UASI funding that is supporting some capabilities in Orlando will soon expire, and despite the Pulse Night Club attack, Orlando is, once again, an unfunded UASI. This legislation would help ensure that Orlando does not lose ground on preparedness.”
The former Orlando Police Chief also proposed changes to the formula that determines the outcome over how funding is awarded and pushed measures to preserve airport security around the country.