Last August, Congress passed a bill authorizing the president to increase the nation’s debt ceiling, while also requiring that the deficit be reduced by cutting spending by $2.3 trillion over 10 years. However, $860 billion of these cuts come from non-defense discretionary spending — community development block grants, housing programs, education, social programs, workforce development, transportation, and other programs that are vital to cities like Portland. Local jurisdictions rely on those funds — either directly from the federal government, or as pass-throughs from state government — to keep our local programs and safety nets intact.
The proposed federal cuts could be devastating locally, in Portland and Multnomah County, and in other metro areas. From social-service programs and affordable housing to economic development programs and infrastructure projects that put people back to work directly, our city and county rely on federal funding. Continue reading