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Engel Calls For Funding to Reimburse New York City For The Cost of Securing The President-Elect

Engel Calls For Funding to Reimburse New York City For The Cost of Securing The President-Elect

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Members of the New York Congressional Delegation have penned a letter to Congressional leadership requesting funding to reimburse the City of New York for expenses incurred securing President-elect Trump.

“As the President-elect spends a great deal of time in New York, the City is incurring a staggering level of cost to secure him. We believe it is only right that New York City be reimbursed for this cost, just as the City of Chicago was reimbursed by the Department of Justice for the money they spent securing then President-elect Obama in 2008,” Engel said.

Text of the letter to Congressional leadership can be found below:

Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Democratic Leader Pelosi, and Democratic Leader Reid,

As members of the New York delegation, we write to urge you to include funding to reimburse New York City for the costs of securing the President-elect prior to his inauguration in the upcoming continuing resolution.  New York City is faced with the unique and unprecedented costs associated with protecting the President-elect, and as in the past with other localities, should be reimbursed for such costs.  In particular, we support an anomaly, requested by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), of $35 million within the Byrne-JAG program to provide relief for costs that can be attributed to safeguarding the President-elect since Election Day.

As you know, localities often must bear significant expenses associated with protecting a President-elect when he or she resides in or visits that location.  From overtime for local law enforcement to street closures to upgrading security measures around particular properties, these costs can easily reach into the tens of millions of dollars.

New York City has already been forced to spend significant amounts of money to ensure the safety of the President-elect and his family.  Given New York City’s size and the central location of the President-elect’s residence, the impact on public transportation, commercial establishments, and tourist attractions is substantial.  The local law enforcement personnel required to secure such a location is sizeable and unprecedented in the history of Presidential security. 

Moreover, because of the President-elect’s expressed desire to spend most of his time at his current residence, those costs are only expected to rise.  The anomaly requested by OMB in this latest continuing resolution will help ensure that public safety in New York City, and elsewhere, does not suffer as result of shifting resources from basic law enforcement activities to protecting the President-elect.

Reimbursing localities for the costs of securing the President-elect is not an unusual occurrence.  The City of Chicago was reimbursed for the costs of protecting President-elect Obama by the Department of Justice.  And Washington, DC is routinely reimbursed for some security costs associated with the inauguration. 

Given the reality that these costs will be incurred prior to the end of this continuing resolution, it is imperative that Congress include the necessary language to help ensure New York City is not forced to bear the financial brunt of protecting the President-elect.  Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter, and we look forward to your response.