Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) today pushed back on Administration’s initial “skinny” budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018. The document entitled, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” proposes deep cuts in funding for many local programs, and eliminates the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which impacts every community in the country.
The Community Development Block Grant program is the most flexible stream of federal dollars allocated to cities. Since the start of the program in 1974, it has been used for broad purposes ranging from affordable housing development and lead-paint abatement, to services for seniors and people with disabilities, as well as dental care for low-income children. For every $1.00 of CDBG investment, another $3.65 in private and public dollars is leveraged.
Regarding the proposed elimination of the CDBG program, U.S. Conference of Mayors President Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said, “Community Development Block Grants are the only federal funding source that gives city leaders some discretion in how the money is spent, and mayors have used them to leverage private investment, create affordable housing, spur economic development, rebuild infrastructure and provide services that strengthen metro areas. America’s mayors will continue to work with our many champions in both the House and Senate to ensure that critically-needed tools like CDBG funds and the HOME Investment Partnership are fully funded.”
As previously reported, the Administration has also called for a $54 billion increase in defense spending in FY 2018, and thus massive corresponding cuts to domestic programs, many of which support the country’s most-vulnerable residents.
“The nation’s mayors will be the front line of concern and action as we go forward working with Congress to dispose of the Administration’s Budget to reflect the truthful needs of our men, women, and children” said Conference CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran.
“Unfortunately, many persons living in our cities, small, medium and large, in our suburbs, and in our rural areas, will be severely hurt if Congress allows these proposals to stand. Mayors stand for all. This is the first day of this battle to truly put our people first. Together, with our allies representing the public interest and the needs of the people, we will demand Congressional action against the ill-advised proposals contained in the Administration’s budget.”
Mayors will use the hashtag #budget across their social media platforms to amplify their statements on the Administration’s budget.