Washington, Sep 2 (efe-epa).- United States President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’d cut federal funds to cities if notable protests against racism continue there, including New York, Washington, Seattle and Portland (Oregon), which he branded “anarchist jurisdictions.”
Trump signed a document distributed by the White House declaring that his administration “will not allow federal taxpayer dollars to fund cities that have deteriorated to lawless areas.”
The president ordered the United States Attorney General, William Barr, to publish within two weeks a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” that have “allowed violence and property destruction to persist, and that have refused to take reasonable measures to counter such criminal activities.”
Although that list has yet to be developed, Trump specifically named four cities where there have been strong protests against police violence toward African Americans in recent months: New York, Washington, Seattle and Portland, all of which are ruled by the Democratic opposition.
The president instructed the director of the White House budget office, Russell Vought, to collect within 30 days details on “all federal funds provided to Seattle, Portland, New York and Washington, DC.”
Next, Vought will have to determine how to “restrict or undermine the ability of anarchist jurisdictions to receive federal grants, to the maximum extent permitted by law.”
The mayor of New York, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, reacted to the issue from his official Twitter account, in which he played down the threat but denounced that the president “refuses to provide funds that states and cities MUST receive to recover” from the pandemic.
“(Trump) is not a king. He can’t ‘de-fund’ New York City. It’s an illegal scheme,” Cuomo said.
This is not the first time that Trump has attempted to deprive localities that implement policies he opposes of federal funding.
In 2017, it tried to do it with the so-called “sanctuary cities”, those that refuse to collaborate with federal authorities to deport undocumented immigrants, but the courts stopped that Trump decree when they considered that the president cannot decide on municipal budgets.
In the last month, Trump has turned up the volume on his slogan of “law and order” and turned it into an electoral flag for the Nov. 3 elections. He insists on denouncing “anarchists” and “criminals” who have staged altercations in demonstrations against racism, without distinguishing them from the majority who protested peacefully. EFE-EPA