President Trump has signed a five page memo ordering all federal agencies to initiate a review, and send a report to the White House Office of Management and Budget that would detail funds that could be redirected from “lawless” cities and states.
Trump’s plan would strip funding from jurisdictions that have allowed riots to continue unhindered, and those that have decided to cut police budgets while violent crime has skyrocketed.
In the memo, President Trump states: “My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones. To ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our Government’s promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities.”
The president specifically names New York City, Portland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. in the memo, but does not require that these cities are necessarily among those chosen to have their funding slashed.
In the memo, Trump states that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “allowed violence to spike”, while refusing the president’s offer to assist in restoring order.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 3, 2020
The memo also directs Attorney General William Barr to create a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” which have “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures” to restore order.
President Trump also cites the lawlessness in Washington, D.C. earlier this summer, which required him to “call in the National Guard to maintain law and order in the Nation’s Capital”. The president states that this was the fault of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who “allowed rioters and anarchists to engage in violence and destruction.”
New York City receives nearly $7 billion in federal aid per year, which could potentially be cut through this new action. Portland, the smallest city on President Trump’s list, receives approximately $252 million per year.
This action could cut the federal budget by a decent amount, and hopefully provide the incentive necessary for these areas to enforce the law. It is likely that if any action were taken to cut the funding of these jurisdictions, it would be challenged in court.
Cuomo’s Unhinged Reaction
In response to the announcement from President Trump, Governor Cuomo had a meltdown, threatening the president.
“He better have an army if he thinks he’s gonna walk down the street in New York. New Yorkers don’t want to have anything to do with him… He can’t have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City, people don’t want to have anything to do with him,” said Cuomo.
The Governor insisted that President Trump, the man who practically built New York City, was now trying to “kill” New York City, calling his actions a political game, and illegal.
At the end of the deranged rant, Governor Cuomo attempted to walk back his threats, stating: “My comment about the president and bodyguards in New York City, all I’m saying is that he is persona non grata in New York City. And I think he knows that.”