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Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez: Proposed Republican budget would be terrible for New York City

Rep. Nydia Velazquez

Rep. Nydia Velazquez Photo Credit: Getty Images/Thos Robinson

"If you like delays on the MTA and slower repairs to our subway and bus system, you'll love the House Republican budget," Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez said Monday at City Hall.

The Republican fiscal year 2016 budget, which would trim $5.5 trillion in 10 years, is now on the table in Washington D.C. It would slash $13.4 billion in federal funds to NYC, resulting in a stunning loss of services, supports and programs for local residents, said Velazquez, who prepared an ominous report detailing its potential effects - widening inequality and dampening economic growth - on the city.

A proposed $1 billion reduction in federal transit formula grants would delay or cancel metropolitan transportation projects, and a $708 million reduction in "State of Good Repair" grants would eliminate critical funds to maintain infrastructure for our subways, buses, railroads and roads. A $686 million reduction in "Federal Transit Capital Investment" grants also bodes ill for the region, according to the report.

A $1.4 billion cut to Section 8 tenant-based assistance could mean 75,000 households losing housing vouchers, according to the congresswoman's math. Other housing subsidies, including those for the elderly, would be reduced or eliminated.

A $1.3 billion loss of federal Pell grants could affect as many as 250,000 NYC students, leaving many without the money they need to attend college. A $9 million reduction in magnet school assistance is also on the table.

Many other agencies and services would also take hits: Paring $487 from the Head Start could slash enrollment by 20,000 over the next 10 years. Homeland Security would face a $14 million reduction in its "Port Security" program and a $44 million cut to transit and city security programs is under consideration. Programs for veterans, small businesses, federal contractors and low income youth would also be chopped.

While it is necessary to pare the national deficit, a better solution is "to target investment in proven revenue-generating initiatives along with tax reform," Velazquez concluded in her report.


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