(CNN) – A top House Republican influential on homeland security matters said cutting federal spending for local law enforcement can have serious consequences for fighting terrorism.
"We have to be aggressive and never let our guard down," Rep. Peter King told CNN, hours after bombings at Monday's Boston Marathon killed three people and sent more than 130 people to hospitals.
Follow @politicalticker Follow @danmericaCNN
"When you see so many cuts contemplated to Homeland Security and to local police coming from the federal government, this war against terrorism, this was against us, in many ways is more dangerous than prior to 911," he said.
Federal authorities are classifying the explosions as a terrorist attack, but it's not clear whether the origin was domestic or foreign, a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said.
President Barack Obama said in a statement that those responsible would be brought to justice.
King of New York, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, said intelligence officials planned to brief members of the panel as well as the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday.
King even called out a member of the Senate – Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma – for comments he made recently to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly about relying on federal help to pay for police overtime in certain circumstances.
"You pay a price for this. You pay a price and it is a deadly price," King said about being lax on homeland security. "We have senators talking about, for instance, cutting aid to Homeland security, funding local police."
"I think Senator Coburn said it was time for Ray Kelly to grow up in New York and police shouldn't be compensated for overtime when they are working on counterterrorism. This is just the small mindedness we can't tolerate. We cannot go back to September 10, 2011."
Rep. Michael McCaul, the chairman of the full Homeland Security Committee, also issued a statement on the bombings.
"In my judgment, this has all the hallmarks of an act of terrorism, but we do not know for sure who did it," the Texas Republican said. "I am in touch with local authorities in Boston as well as federal authorities who have launched an investigation into this malicious attack and I am certain that whoever is responsible will be held accountable."