Washington, DC - The following statement is from National League of Cities (NLC) President Marie Lopez Rogers, Mayor of Avondale, AZ, in response to passage of legislation to avert the fiscal cliff:
"On behalf of cities across the country, I am relieved that President Obama, the House, and the Senate have finally been able to come together on an agreement that will pull the nation back from the fiscal cliff. However, I know I speak for the residents of my town and for so many others when I say that watching the debate over the last several weeks was frustrating and appalling, and we hope Washington will resolve to do better in the new year.
"While today's agreement protects middle income families from tax increases and preserves benefits for two million unemployed Americans, which we fully support, we are disappointed that the automatic spending cuts to important federal programs that our cities and families rely upon continue to be an option to resolving the nation's fiscal challenges.
"Over the last several years, these programs, which support infrastructure, job training, housing, and education investments, have already been subject to significant cuts in the name of deficit reduction. If the automatic spending cuts are implemented, they will set back the economic recovery we are only now beginning to see in our communities and will lead to more cuts in services to the families who need them the most.
"As the debates over spending continue in the new year, we will continue to call upon federal lawmakers to use a balanced approach to deficit reduction and to preserve these essential federal investments that drive growth and job creation in our communities. We cannot and must not solve our country's fiscal problems on the backs of our communities and our families."
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.