Any Effort to Strip Cities of Funds Available Under the Law Will Be Met with a Bipartisan Legal Challenge

Washington, DC – Today the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) sent a letter to the President of the United States, urging him to rescind his recent memorandum that threatens to deny cities federal resources made available to them by law. The letter comes at the direction of the bipartisan USCM Executive Committee, and it makes clear that the Administration should expect a serious legal challenge if it attempts to move forward with the effort. The full text of the letter can be found here. In part, the letter reads:

“[W]e were deeply dismayed by the Memorandum and the intent to defund cities. We strongly believe that the Memorandum and any related effort to defund any city has no legal merit and will be quickly rejected by the courts. As you are aware, cities fought and are winning a similar battle with your Administration when the Department of Justice tried to deny public safety grants to certain cities. While we are prepared to take to the courts again if necessary, we strongly believe that the better course is to end this effort now and, instead, come together to seek common ground on a goal we can and should all agree is paramount: public safety. 

“The number one priority for every mayor is public safety. Mayors have taken oaths to protect their cities, and will continue to do so, while at the same time protecting free speech. But if your Memorandum were to be implemented – slashing resources for police, firefighters, and other first responders along with a range of other essential services to residents – the result would be American cities that are much less safe. Indeed, the largest threat to public safety funding comes from the failure of the national government to provide all cities with emergency fiscal assistance as contained in the HEROES Act.

“Mr. President, it is never too late for us all to work together. Our residents want leaders who collaborate to solve problems with thoughtful policies and investments.”