By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The US head of Homeland Security was not saying immediately how much money the federal government will chip in for security at next year’s Democratic National Convention, in Philadelphia.READ MORE: SEPTA Workers Voted To Authorize Strike If New Contract Isn't Reached
Secretary Jeh Johnson met privately today with Mayor Nutter for about an hour at City Hall, after which Johnson told reporters the session touched on both this year’s visit of Pope Francis and next year’s Democratic National Convention.
He gave no specifics, but Johnson made clear that the question of federal funding for the 2016 DNC security is not simply his decision to make.
“There is funding that comes from the Department of Justice. I am the Department of Homeland Security. But the federal government in a variety of ways does support the city that is selected to host the national conventions every four years. And I am confident that we in Homeland Security and Justice, in Washington, will work closely with the mayor of Philadelphia to secure a safe and secure convention,” Johnson said.
Nutter pointed out that the decision on federal funding for security very much rests with Congress.
“Those funds naturally have to be appropriated by Congress, and there’s a whole other process and procedure to go through on that,” he told reporters.
To which Johnson joked in agreement, “I cannot print money.”READ MORE: West Philadelphia Shooting Leaves 2 In Critical Condition, Police Say
And Nutter said his administration is teaming up with his counterpart in Cleveland — host of the 2016 GOP convention — for a full-court press on Capitol Hill:
“The mayor of Cleveland and I have talked and actually are planning a joint approach, because these are national events, regardless of which party is in which city.”
Previous political conventions have received as much as $50 million for security from the feds.
Johnson said little about the visit of Pope Francis here this September, other than that security planning has gone on for some time and continues.
And with both the pope and the national convention coming to Philadelphia, the Homeland Security chief said he expects full well to return here.
“I am confident that I will back to Philadelphia before the national convention to inspect security, as I will be in Cleveland for the Republican convention.”
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