Pa. Lawmakers: Trump Budget Will Cost Southwestern Pennsylvania Millions

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Trump budget will cost southwestern Pennsylvania millions of dollars, local lawmakers claim.

“His address was ‘we’re going to rebuild our cities.’ This is not rebuilding. This is crippling,” Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor told political editor Jon Delano on Thursday.

But the White House budget director says the president is delivering on his campaign promises.

“We took those words, those polices, and turned them into numbers,” said Mike Mulvaney, the budget director.

President Trump wants to eliminate over 60 government agencies.

“You’re taking local municipalities and cutting their budgets in half in some places, and that’s really not fair to the residents,” says Councilman O’Connor.

One targeted program is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program that pumps $30 million locally, including $12.5 million to Allegheny County, $12.7 million to the city of Pittsburgh, $2.9 million to Beaver County, $3.1 million to Washington County, and $3.1 million to Westmoreland County.

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Gov. Tom Wolf decried as “cruel,” the elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that helps 345,000 Pennsylvanians pay their utility bills.

Also zeroed out for funding — Legal Services — that, locally, helped over 8,000 residents including at least 1,500 with Protection from Abuse orders.

The TIGER transportation grant program would go. That’s already brought $45 million to Allegheny County.

And slated to end — federally funded before and after school education programs in the state.

Trump is not the first president to try to eliminate dozens of federal agencies.

Ronald Reagan tried to do the same back in the 1980s.

But back then the Congress was controlled by the Democrats. This time it’s different. Republicans control the Congress, and nobody quite knows what that’s going to mean.

Local reaction is key.

Even Sen. Pat Toomey, who generally supports the Trump budget, said he’d examine each reduction carefully.

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