At Senate Hearing on Terrorist Threats, McCaskill Raises Concerns Over Proposed Cuts to Counterterrorism Programs Used by Kansas City, St. Louis

WASHINGTON – During a hearing on defending the country from international terrorist threats, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill raised concerns over the Administration’s proposed cuts to counterterrorism programs across the country, including programs utilized by St. Louis and Kansas City. Witnesses at the hearing, entitled Adapting to Defend the Homeland Against the Evolving International Terrorist Threat, included officials from the Department of Defense, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security.

“Preventing radicalization, as well as preventing and responding to attacks, demands training, support, and other resources for state and local governments, law enforcement, and first responders,” said McCaskill, who serves as the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee. “I am deeply concerned that many essential counterterrorism programs that provide that support were reduced or outright eliminated in the President’s FY 2018 budget.”

McCaskill discussed the importance of these programs in Missouri, stating, “In July, DHS announced awards through the Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks Grant Program; Kansas City and St. Louis were both awarded money. I am very familiar with how these resources are being used, and they are being used wisely and appropriately. Programs like this are essential to bolstering security in our cities. But the President’s budget proposed eliminating this grant program, as well.”

A report issued by the Homeland Security Committee Democratic staff earlier this year highlighted the impact of the Administration’s proposed $582.8 million in cuts from critical counterterrorism programs that DHS administers, including programs that have provided funding to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

McCaskill has served on the Homeland Security Committee since joining the Senate, becoming the top-ranking Democrat on the Committee at the beginning of the year. She has repeatedly raised objections to cuts to state and local counterterrorism programs. At a Committee hearing in September, McCaskill questioned Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke about the proposed cuts. McCaskill praised Missouri grants for terrorism preparedness and prevention earlier this year, highlighting the importance of the programs.

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