NLC to Washington: Economy Too Fragile for Games, Cities Need Sequestration Deal Now

Washington, DC - The following statement is from Clarence Anthony, executive director of the National League of Cities (NLC) in response to the President's remarks on sequestration today:

"The President today rejected the conventional wisdom in Washington that sequestration is inevitable. We agree with President Obama that the impacts of these mandatory budget cuts will be real and will be felt at the kitchen tables of families in cities across the country.

"The economy is too fragile for political games. The only reason Washington has decided that sequestration is inevitable is because it lacks political willpower to stand up and make the difficult choices that come with national leadership.

"The nation spent the New Year's wondering if Washington would throw it off the fiscal cliff only to have it postponed until March. While someone outside the beltway would have a reasonable expectation that Washington would fix the problem, this is apparently too much to expect.

"Since the downturn, our cities have had to reevaluate their priorities and made the tough choices necessary to ensure the fiscal health of their communities. They have lived under the threat of the fiscal cliff, while Washington has failed to resolve the problem.

"NLC's members understand that blunt instruments can harm a city as much as a poorly performing economy. Cities continue to look at what should be cut while still maintaining much needed investments. They know that you cannot sacrifice growth and the future of your community just to make a budget number.

"This is not a nebulous issue - there will be real impacts on the economies and especially on the local level. NLC supports continued smart investments in education, job training and infrastructure. This will lay a strong foundation for future growth while putting people to work now."

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.