Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has staged press conferences to respond to President Donald Trump before. But following the release of the Republican president’s provisional federal budget, Walsh said this one would be different.
“I’m not talking about national politics today — I’m talking about people,” said the mayor, who went on to say the proposed budget cuts would result in harm in “every single one” of Boston’s neighborhoods and across the country.
“This is not a responsible budget,” he said. “This is a reckless budget and it’s a heartless budget.”
[LIVE]: Mayor Walsh addresses local implications of President Trump’s budget proposal with City officials and community members
Posted by City of Boston on Thursday, March 16, 2017
Walsh specifically highlighted community block grants, which he said account for $24 million of the city’s current annual budget. The grants go toward services that include neighborhood development and preservation, assistance for new homebuyers, and Meals on Wheels, he said.
“They touch rich. They touch poor. They touch every single child in our city,” Walsh said, before lending the podium to several local business and community leaders to talk about the potential impact of the cuts.
As The Boston Globe reported Thursday, Trump’s proposed budget included a 20 percent cut to the National Institutes of Health, “a major source of money for the Massachusetts economy.” Republican Gov. Charlie Baker called the cuts “alarming.”
“It’s not just bad for Massachusetts,” Baker said in a WBGH interview Thursday. “It’s bad for the country.”
According to the Globe, rural areas would also be hit hard by budgets cuts.
In his press conference Thursday, Walsh slammed Trump’s proposed cuts to other services, including energy assistance to low-income homes, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and civil society programs, such as AmeriCorps.
“A budget like this will bring pain,” Walsh said. “We cannot replace the much-need revenue here. No city can.”
Following his prepared remarks, Walsh refused to entertain a question about what specific cuts would be made if the budget is passed, noting that Congress still had to deliberate on the proposal.
“We’re going to go down and fight down in D.C.,” he said. “We’re going to advocate. We’re going to push. I’m not going to answer that question yet because this fight is long from over.”
According to the mayor, Boston would make itself heard both in the Capitol — either directly or through Massachusetts’s congressional delegation.
“I think it’s important to let people understand the ramifications of this,” he said.