Washington, D.C. – U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran issued the following statement on the release of President Trump’s FY 2018 budget proposal, A New Foundation for American Greatness:
“Mayors across the country are deeply troubled by President Trump’s brazen attack on the very people he promised to protect. The unprecedented cuts to critical domestic programs would be nothing short of devastating to all our nation’s cities, piercing the very soul of America.
“President Trump’s proposed budget stands to drastically reduce or eliminate programs that benefit the most vulnerable of our citizens. Instead of assisting those struggling to make ends meet as he promised, the President plans to ax services designed to forge a path for working families into the middle class. In effect, President Trump pulls the rug out from under those who are already living on the edge.
“Specifically, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) would be eliminated, a program that OMB Director Mick Mulvaney characterized as one that does not work. Nothing could be further from truth. For the past 40 years, since its inception, this program has a proven track record of revitalizing neighborhoods and creating jobs.
In light of this, The U.S. Conference of Mayors released today bipartisan letters to Congressional leaders in both the House and Senate in strong support of the CDBG program. More than 350 mayors representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, signed the CDBG letter and remain committed to fighting this destructive cut.
“While many of the nation’s cities and metropolitan areas are strong and continue to drive the national economy forward, many have not yet rebounded from the Great Recession. We cannot and will not turn a blind eye to these communities that are hurting from federal disinvestment.
“President Trump’s proposed cuts betray his campaign pledge to the American people to make the country stronger. If Congress allows these cuts to workforce training, education, housing, public safety, the arts, the EPA and other social services to prevail, the impact will be felt far and wide, severely affecting people living in cities large and small; suburban and rural.
“Further, the elimination and phase out of the National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment of the Humanities and Institute of Museum and Library Services would destroy the cultural infrastructure of the nation.
“Throughout the campaign, President Trump vowed to make the country stronger and to keep all Americans safe. It’s ironic that the morning after the deadly terrorist attack in Manchester, his budget proposes significant cuts to key Homeland Security programs, a direct contradiction to what he repeatedly promised.
“Yesterday the Attorney General issued a memorandum defining sanctuary jurisdictions as those not in compliance with 8 U.S.C. §1373, a narrow definition. Today the Budget proposes a legislative change that would significantly broaden §1373, threatening many more jurisdictions with noncompliance for upholding the law and the Constitution.
“Since 1932, USCM has maintained that there should be a strong federal-city funding partnership to serve the millions that reside in our cities. In the name of devolution, this budget proposal, at the direction of Mulvaney, would turn billions of funds over to states, putting the future of the American people in the hands of governors and state legislators. Mayors are simply asking for the tax dollars that we send to Washington to be directly repatriated home so we can meet the needs of our local residents in a cost-effective manner.
“The nation’s mayors will be on the front line fighting against this draconian vision for America’s cities and metro areas. The U.S. Conference of Mayors stands ready to work with Congress to craft a budget that reflects the truthful needs of this country’s men, women, and children.”