Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison were part of a pre-emptive strike Wednesday on potential GOP cuts to community development block grants, the federal funds that pay for low-income housing, jobs programs, and crime prevention.
The $4.4 billion program, known by the initials, CDBG, funneled some $14.4 million to Minneapolis last year.
“It’s not just some four-letter federal program,” Ellison said in a Capitol Hill press conference led by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. “It’s the way in my home town of Minneapolis that we ensure that we have affordable housing. It’s the way we make sure there are jobs for some kids…”
Frank, flanked by Rybak and other big city mayors, acknowledged that there have been no specific GOP proposals to cut CDBG funding. But with Republicans looking for ways to trim $100 billion from the federal budget, he said cities are “threatened.”
Rybak, in Washington for a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, plans to meet with President Obama Thursday at the White House to talk about the economy and the upcoming State of the Union address. He will be among 10 mayors in the meeting, including Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, who currently heads the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
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