Dem Mayors Slam Trump’s Defunding Gambit: Our Cities Are Not Your ‘Political Pawns’

on May 2, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference on May 2, 2018 on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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September 3, 2020 12:01 p.m.

The Democratic mayors of Washington, D.C., Seattle, New York City and Portland hit back at President Donald Trump on Thursday in response to his effort to eliminate federal funding for their cities.

Mayors Muriel Bowser of D.C., Jenny Durkan of Seattle, Bill de Blasio of NYC, and Ted Wheeler of Portland released a joint statement declaring that their cities “are not President Trump’s political pawns.”

“We are confronting unprecedented challenges—fighting back a pandemic and economic devastation without another stimulus,” they said. “Now, instead of leadership from the White House, we are faced with new attacks that are unlawful, unconstitutional and will be undoubtedly defeated in court. President Trump needs to wake up to the reality facing our cities—and our entire country—and realize he is not above the law.”

On Wednesday evening, Trump ordered federal agencies to review funding for the four cities, which he claimed in his memo “recently have decided to pursue reckless policies that allow crime and lawlessness to multiply.”

“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,” the President tweeted.

The order is an escalation of Trump’s smear campaign against the mayors amid unrest over police shootings of several Black Americans, most recently Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who has been left paralyzed after white police officer Rusten Sheskey shot him in the back seven times.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) roasted Trump during a press call on Wednesday night, saying that the President is “persona non grata in New York City.”

“Forget bodyguards, he better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the streets in New York,” the governor told reporters.

Cuomo also pointed out that Trump’s order likely won’t go anywhere from a legal standpoint.

“He thinks he’s a king but he’s not, he’s a president,” he said. “And there is a Constitution and there are laws–nothing that he knows anything about–but the federal budget is appropriated by law.”

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