D.C. City Administrator Rashad Young has reservations about President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. He is concerned it could undermine the economic progress of the District of Columbia. “Last week, I anxiously awaited the release of the president’s proposal,” Young said at a news conference on March 20. “After we reviewed the outline of the president’s proposed budget, we realized that it is bleak in regards to D.C. residents.”

Rashad Young, the District’s city administrator, said that he believes the president’s proposed budgets works against D.C. residents. (Courtesy Photo)

Rashad Young, the District’s city administrator, said that he believes the president’s proposed budgets works against D.C. residents. (Courtesy Photo)

As the Trump budget makes its way to a budget-cutting U.S. Congress dominated by Republicans, Young isn’t the only high-level District official who is concerned. “In recent years, Washington, D.C. has seen tremendous growth and today our economy is one of the top three strongest local economies in the country,” Bowser said. “Now, at a time, when we are working to ensure that all of D.C.’s residents benefit from our city’s prosperity, we have significant concerns about the president’s initial budget outline. By making cuts to programs that support basic needs like housing and health care, this budget will force our city to make tough choices about programs that not only promote growth, but enable us to support our most vulnerable residents.

Among the programs targeted for elimination by the Trump administration is the community block grant program. This initiative gives money to jurisdictions and supports housing, sustainable living and economic development, and the HOME Investment Partnership Program that helps District residents become homebuyers and home-secure.

Young expressed concerns about the elimination of the Minority Business Development Agency, designed to assist people of color in getting federal government contracts, among other things and COPS grants, currently used to fund the salaries of 45-48 District police officers. Elimination of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities won’t have a traumatic effect on the District, Young said.

He said it’s not clear what the Trump budget would do for District programs receiving substantial federal funding like the public school system, the charter school system, the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program that helps D.C. students attend out-of-state colleges and universities at lower rates, the criminal justice system, emergency planning, the presidential inauguration, and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Young said the city would be able to absorb some of the cuts, because of its current financial health, but there are limits. As of March 16, he said, the city would need to come provide $81 million to fund programs the Trump budget would cut.

“If Congress approves the president’s budget the way it is, 20,000 to 30,000 federal jobs would be cut and many of those people are District residents,” he said. “That would mean a decline in city revenue with sales and income taxes.”

Young said the final Trump budget numbers won’t be available until May and that is when Congress will formally get into the formulation process. Congress changes the president’s budget substantially and Young said the mayor’s Office of Federal and Regional Affairs will continue to engage lawmakers and the White House on the best interests of the District.