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NYPD Commissioner Blames Obama for Counterterrorism Funding Woes

"He started this whole mess," Commissioner Bill Bratton said of President Obama.
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DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholakian

LOWER MANHATTAN — NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton blasted President Barack Obama Wednesday for reducing counterterrorism funding.

Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with the city's health and fire department commissioners and a trio of Congress members, spoke during a press conference held to push for New York to continue to receive $180 million in federal funding to combat terrorism.

"He started this whole mess," Bratton said, referring to the president.

The commissioner also accused the federal Office of Management and Budget of "being real cute" about the money.

Bratton and de Blasio held a similar press conference in February after the Obama administration announced a plan to reduce funds for a national federal program, the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), to $330 million, down from $600 million, nationwide. 

The budget has to be approved by Congress, and the trio of lawmakers — Rep. Steve Israel and Rep. Kathleen Rice, both Democrats, and Republican Dan Donovan — blamed their colleagues' inaction for the difficulties in securing the full amount of funding for New York.

"I've only been in Washington for 18 months and I have to say that the one feeling that's persistent is frustration," Rice said during Wednesday's press conference. "I can only imagine how frustrating it is for the American people. It's pathetic."

"If Congress doesn't act, there will be a lot of happy terrorists in the world," de Blasio added.

Bratton and de Blasio were unspecific about what the money is needed for, with the mayor saying it funds "the training, the technology, all of the advanced equipment that makes such a difference."

The mayor's office did not immediately provide information on what that funding has previously been used for, and the White House did not immediately respond to Bratton's comments.