Proposed automatic budget cuts will slash millions of dollars in federal aid from programs helping the urban poor, the elderly and children in cities across America, the U.S. Conference of Mayors said yesterday.
The nation's mayors want Congress and the White House to stop the cuts scheduled under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings budget law with a combination of increased taxes and selective spending cuts, said Mayor Joseph Riley of Charleston, S.C.
"The automatic cutting of programs is blind to the priorities and needs of America," Riley said at a news conference.
New York City faces a $69.5 million loss under a preliminary analysis, with major cuts in education, job training, child-support enforcement, aid to the elderly and refugees, Medicare, community development projects and other programs, according to the conference.
Citing other examples, the conference said that in urban mass transit programs, the city of Phoenix stands to lose $990,000; Baltimore stands to lose $4 million, and San Diego and New Orleans each stand to lose $510,000.
"We are strongly encouraging the president and the Congress to take a realistic look at the federal revenues that are needed . . . to produce a sensible and humane budget," Riley said.