WASHINGTON — May 23, 2017 — This morning, the Trump Administration sent its full budget proposal to Congress. The proposal includes unprecedented cuts that would slash or eliminate crucial programs that invest in cities and create jobs, including the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), TIGER grants for transportation projects and the HOME Investment Partnership Program. The National League of Cities (NLC) is concerned that small cities would fare the worst under the proposal, since they are less able to compensate for the cuts. Many states limit the amount of additional revenue cities may raise, leading to a real possibility of municipal bankruptcy for some small cities. In response, NLC President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, released the following statement:
“The administration’s budget proposal would be devastating to cities and towns. No community in America would be better off with this budget, and it could bankrupt smaller cities and towns. It does nothing to create jobs in our communities, and violates the president’s core campaign promise to lift up Americans in communities across the nation.
“The White House ignored more than 700 city officials who urged the administration to protect crucial programs, including Community Development Block Grants, TIGER grants and the HOME Investment Partnership Program. These vital programs allow communities to invest in public safety, economic development and infrastructure, and create private-sector jobs.
“The budget proposal would have a disproportionate impact on America’s small cities and towns, whose budgets are already stretched thin. In these communities, the programs being targeted are a lifeline for maintenance and investment. For those communities, this budget would spell disaster — and, in many cases, bankruptcy.
“As the leaders of America’s cities, we call on Congress to throw out this budget proposal and develop a new plan focused on building prosperity, expanding opportunity and investing in our future. Congress must reject this budget proposal or risk derailing local economies nationwide.”
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. www.nlc.org