A report uncovered Tuesday night shows federal funding potentially being slashed in sanctuary cities like New York, Portland, Ore., Washington, D.C. and Seattle, Wash. The areas on the chopping block include coronavirus relief, HIV treatment, newborn screenings, and other programs that regularly help the middle and lower class residents of these states.
In the new documents obtained by Politico, President Donald J. Trump referred to the sanctuary cities as “anarchist jurisdictions.”A month earlier in a Sept. 2 order, Trump called on federal agencies to limit funding to jurisdictions that “disempower” police departments and promote “lawlessness” — a move that stemmed from protests over systemic racism and police violence.
“My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses,” Trump tweeted.
Within three weeks’ time, Attorney General Bill Barr labeled New York City, Portland and Seattle “anarchist jurisdictions.” The White House budget office then instructed departments to scrutinize funding for Washington, D.C. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will make the final budget decisions.
“As the data comes in, OMB will collect it and make a decision,” said the official, who requested anonymity. “We need to review the information with agencies before we know. Grant programs all have different authorities so it’s going to be case by case.”
“The bottom line is there’s no extra money lying around, and this is not a time to be playing politics with people’s health,” said Chrissie Juliano, executive director of the Big Cities Health Coalition, a national group that represents health departments in major U.S. cities — including the four targeted by Trump.
“This is nothing more than political retribution,” said Laura Feyer, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The United States Conference of Mayors has joined officials from Seattle and New York City in threatening legal action should the Trump administration deny life-saving funding in their cities.