New Orleans – The budget proposal released by the White House today sets the wrong priorities for American Cities and Metropolitan areas and will not keep President Trump’s promise to make America stronger and more secure.
Proposed cuts being recommended by the White House to cover $54 billion in additional defense spending will endanger the very people that President Trump claims he wants to protect. These proposed cuts include elimination of community development block grants and access to affordable housing and cuts to the Federal Emergency Management program and the Coast Guard. Proposed cuts to important public safety programs will make it harder for New Orleans and cities across the country to protect our citizens.
In New Orleans, our strong and vibrant recovery from Hurricane Katrina was helped by each of these programs the President is proposing to cut or eliminate. Over 1,600 rentals units were built for low-moderate income families, over 700 homes rehabilitated, and 956 families have been able to achieve the dream of becoming homeowners due to HOME and CDBG funds. We have built community spaces, art spaces, and health centers and fought blight with these funds.
Additional proposals in the President’s budget will cut UASI and Homeland Security Grant Program by 25%. In New Orleans, Homeland Security Grants have helped our city upgrade technology for EMS, equipment for the NOPD’s Special Operation and Bioterrorism preparedness.
The President has included a proposal to hire 15,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Border Protection agents. Mayors across the country will tell you that if the President wants to protect our communities he will prioritize the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program over border agents. In New Orleans, we receive $1.6 million a year that helps us put more officers on the street.
Our country needs to be safe, and we need a strong military; however, like Mayors do every year, the time has come for the Federal Government to focus on outcomes and understand the impacts of their budget process. We will not be safer and our economy will suffer if we cut investments in the people who make up our middle and working class economy. We will not be stronger if small businesses fail and our police, fire and emergency management departments do not have the resources they need.