Nutter: Federal Budget Cuts Are Hurting Philadelphia

AP reports on Mayor Michael Nutter’s speech to the State Budget Crisis Task Force, meeting today at the National Constitution Center. Nutter said the federal budget “sequester”—the automatic spending cuts that went into effect a few months back when Congress and President Obama couldn’t agree to an alternative budget—is harming cities like Philadelphia.

In Philadelphia, he said, deep cuts to a program that helps homeowners avert foreclosure will potentially result in more blight, while the school district is facing an existential budget crisis that has forced it to lay off 3,800 employees and eliminate sports, music, art and all after-school programs.

“This is not a sustainable model for cities. The federal government cannot balance its budget on the backs of cities and local governments,” Nutter said.

“We’ve already been to the fiscal cliff. We’ve made our cuts. We’ve cut back on services and we’ve raised people’s taxes at the same time,” Nutter said. “We’re now trying to come back. Please don’t stand in the way.”

At this point, though, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a renegotiation. Congress and the president have moved on.