APA Statement on Trump Administration's FY 2019 Federal Budget Proposal
Statement of the American Planning Association from APA President Cynthia Bowen, AICP, on the Trump Administration's FY 2019 Federal Budget Proposal
Once again, the Trump administration has sent to Capitol Hill a budget proposal that fails local communities. The budget threatens essential and proven programs for community development, housing and transportation. More importantly, it fails communities and the work of creating stronger, more prosperous places for all. APA urges Congress to reject this approach and invest in the needs and priorities of the nation's communities.
As was the case last year, the budget sent to Congress would eliminate critical programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), HOME and Choice Neighborhoods. In addition, the budget would end support for New Starts transit funding and TIGER grants for key transportation projects while slashing passenger rail. These cuts only undermine the administration's stated interest in rebuilding and renewing the nation's infrastructure. Many other cuts pose direct threats to the tools needed to understand and respond to the challenges our cities, towns, and neighborhoods face.
Planners stand ready to engage with Congress and the Trump administration on the right policies and sustainable investments needed to address the nation's infrastructure crisis, however we stand opposed to funding new schemes at the expense of essential current investments. That's not progress. Planners value the partnership between local communities and the federal government. This budget would irresponsibly undermine that partnership at the expense of our nation's most pressing needs.
Earlier this year, APA outlined an agenda to create stronger and more just communities through expanded access to opportunity and strategic investments in innovation and shared prosperity. The four elements of that agenda — smart infrastructure investment, expanded housing choice and affordability, reliable federal data, and safer communities — would all be undermined by the approach taken in the budget proposal.
Last year, Congress rejected a similar approach by the administration. We call on Capitol Hill to again reject cuts that would harm the communities we serve. We are encouraged by the recent bipartisan effort to boost needed federal investment and are eager to work with Congress to ensure that budget priorities reflect the need to create communities that expand access and opportunities for all.