Council to hold hearing on planned Trump budget cuts

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Philadelphia City Council will soon hold a hearing on the “worst-case scenario” if all the budget cuts being proposed by the Trump administration come to fruition.  City Council President Darrell Clarke is calling for the hearing because he believes President Trump is going to make good on his campaign promises and that could cost Philadelphia a great deal of money.

“We have to figure out how we are going to respond to this,” Clarke said.  “When you look at some of the people he’s put in place an education secretary who doesn’t frankly speaking believe in public education, having an individual as a labor secretary who doesn’t believe in minimum wage.”

Clarke says will be looking to Harrisburg for help playing defense.

“We have to make sure we keep the governor [Democrat Tom Wolf] in place, because that is our last backstop, but we must also deal with the fiscal side because there is the potential for a lot of loss of revenue in Philadelphia,” he said.

Some of the cuts would affect the entire country and some would hit Philadelphia because it’s a self-declared sanctuary city.  That’s the name adopted by more than 200 cities that for the most part are declining to cooperate with federal immigration officials.  In Philadelphia, the police have a policy of complying when Immigration and Customs Enforcement presents a warrant for someone under arrest in the city.  However, the city says it worries that more extensive collaboration with ICE would discourage immigrants from reporting crimes or agreeing to be a witness.

A recent report from Reuters says that the top 10 largest sanctuary cities could lose a combined $2.27 billion. According to that analysis, Philadelphia is fourth, behind New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.  It says Philadelphia could lose nearly $200 million. NewsWorks previously reported that city officials think about $400 million is at risk when considering overall budget cuts and funds to be withheld because of sanctuary city status.

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