Under the proposed House Republican budget plan, the District would face $80 million in funding cuts from the federal government. District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray released a short statement calling the House of Representatives cuts “another serious blow” to the District and signaled potential tax increases to cover losses to local agencies.
“We already have revised our budget by hundreds of millions of dollars and face even more severe challenges as we look to Fiscal Year 2012,” Gray said in a press release. For the District that means potential cuts to key D.C. programs, including public transportation ($150 million), courts ($25.5 million) education ($15.4 million), and water and sewer ($10 million).
However, though the Mayor’s office and City Council are scrambling to figure out how to close the gap, The Washington Post raised questions about expenditures by D.C. Council chairman Kwame R. Brown, specifically, his “fully loaded” Lincoln Navigator L with a DVD entertainment system, power moonroof and polished aluminum wheels.
The legislation, though unclear as to if it would cut these cars, would spare some DC-specific programs, including the DC Tuition Assistance Grant program, a subsidy that pays the difference in tuition costs for DC students who attend out-of-state colleges and universities.
The legislation “is replete with substantial cuts to the small domestic part of the U.S. budget that the average American relies on,” congresswoman Norton told The Washington Times. “The House bill is only the first round in the [continuing-resolution] process. I have been rounding up Senate allies who, along with the Obama administration, are committed to preserving DC’s home-rule rights and dignity as a local jurisdiction.”