Cuts in Trump’s first budget could spell financial disaster for entire city, officials warn

Photo via Twitter/@NYPDONeill

Queens-born President Donald Trump’s executive budget could devastate his home city if is passed without revisions, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials warned on Thursday.

The president’s financial plan would result in tremendous cutbacks to numerous federal agencies that could cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars in funds for a host of programs from low-income housing assistance to the NYPD’s counter-terrorism initiative.

“It’s extraordinary how many negative things have been packed into one budget,” de Blasio said during a March 15 press conference at City Hall.

The NYPD could lose up to $110 million in federal aid, effectively eradicating its counter-terrorism program, Police Commissioner James O’Neill warned. The funds pay for officer training, bomb-defusing equipment and other items essential to combating potential terrorist attacks.

“This money is critical to keeping everyone safe,” O’Neill said.

Trump’s budget would eliminate community development block grants that, de Blasio said, would endanger the operation of senior citizen centers to housing inspections and repairs. Further proposed cuts would eliminate the HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program), which provides 700,000 low-income and senior families across the city with funds to help pay their heating and energy bills.

Cuts at the federal Department of Education would also impact the city’s public schools system, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said. City schools could lose up to $100 million used for professional development for teachers and administrators, as well as after-school programs.

Regarding public housing, Trump’s desired cuts at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) may cost the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) up to $150 million in operating funds and another $220 million in capital funds.

“The Trump administration has proposed drastic cuts to HUD, which would strip nearly every dollar from public housing infrastructure and completely undermine its day-to-day operations,” NYCHA Chair & CEO Shola Olatoye said. “We refuse to let Washington walk away from public housing.”

Further proposed cuts at the federal Department of Transportation could lead to up to $2 billion in lost funds for local projects such as the ongoing Second Avenue Subway expansion and the city’s Vision Zero street safety initiative, de Blasio added.

The executive budget that Trump proposed must be approved by Congress, and de Blasio is confident the city’s federal representatives — along with others from across the country — would fight to stop the proposed cuts. He publicly asked Trump to speak directly with those New Yorkers who would be most affected by the budget reductions and consider its impact on the entire city.

“He should remember where he comes from,” de Blasio said. “New York City stands to lose so much.”

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