Washington, D.C. - As the U.S. Congress considers the omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through September, National League of Cities President Chris Coleman, mayor, Saint Paul, Minn. issued the following statement:
"We urge Congress to act swiftly to pass the omnibus appropriations bill to keep the government funded and functioning over the next nine months. We recognize the bill cannot meet every priority, including some that affect cities and local communities, but the compromise is a high-water mark of bipartisan cooperation that we hope will continue in order to solve some of our nation's other challenges. Last year's government shutdown proved that failing to fund the government is simply unacceptable and the painful consequences are felt in communities across America.
"We are pleased that the appropriations bill largely keeps intact, and in some cases, restores funding for local priorities, including TIGER grants and the public transit "new starts" program, CDBG, the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund programs, the COPS program, housing vouchers for low-income families and veterans, the Head Start program and workforce investment programs. In general, these funding levels take us back from the sharp cliff of sequestration and offset some of the dangerous cuts that have been made to criminal justice and homeland security programs over the past few years.
"With this year's budget and appropriations process hopefully behind us soon, cities call on Congress to engage with local governments and enhance federal and local partnerships to solve our nation's biggest challenges. This means passing the strongest, most comprehensive immigration bill possible that includes the necessary resources for cities to implement the new law. It includes helping Main Street retailers by putting them on an equal footing with their online counterparts with a marketplace fairness bill. And it means continuing to support local infrastructure projects, including a new surface transportation program to replace MAP-21 that gives local governments a greater role in transportation decision-making."
The National League of Cities (NLC) 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.