“What Do You Have to Lose?” Trump Budget Features Big Urban Development...

“What Do You Have to Lose?” Trump Budget Features Big Urban Development Cuts

President Donald Trump delivers an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (WDCPIX.COM)

BIG CUTS TO HUD. When speaking on urban policy during the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump often asked Black voters “what have you got to lose.” With the introduction of his new budget blueprint, the answer would be: Billions. It’s already been reported that Trump will propose a $6 billion cut to HUD. Nothing that has come out since has contradicted that cut estimate. A $6 billion cut would be close to a fifth of HUD’s entire budget. 

In a budget certain to get loads of blaring headlines and even more certain to be dead-on-arrival on Capitol Hill, President Trump makes a big bad sheriff style political statement as he unveils his budget “blueprint.” Clearly Steve Bannon was hovering over his shoulder when many of the fiscal priorities seen in the budget outline were made. 

Specific line item budget details will come later, but for now it’s clear that the department of Housing and Urban Development is a  big loser in particular. During an off-camera briefing with reporters on March 15, Trump’s OMB Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters that, “if you heard him say it on the campaign it’s in this budget.”

We did hear Trump say over and over that things couldn’t be any worse in urban communities and so, “what have you got to lose?” Unthinkably large cuts to the State Department and EPA were expected and long rumored, but housing and urban development?  Trump’s talk of “America first” would appear not to include urban development, fixing the water in Flint, Mich. or focusing on community block grants and urban policy. 

Mulvaney went on to say there would be cuts to HUD that targeted “duplicative” programs that were not working. But he didn’t specify exactly what those programs were. He also indicated that department heads would have a great deal of control over what happens next — in the case of HUD that would be housing novice Dr. Ben Carson. 

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Twitter: @LVBurke / Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist who analyses politics and justice reform. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke has also been a staffer for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and Director of Communications for Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN). She has had a very diverse career in politics and media and appears weekly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin. She has also appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton and Up with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC. She is also a contributing writer for NBCNews.com and TheRoot.com Ms. Burke was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up on Long Island. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail: LBurke007@gmail.com. Instagram: LVB325.