Last month, President Donald Trump unveiled his budget proposal, titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” Despite its title, the budget’s savage cuts to crucial programs would harm many Americans, especially those who voted for President Trump.
Although he campaigned on promises to create jobs and strengthen the economy in rural areas, President Trump’s budget eliminates the Northern Border Regional Commission, or NBRC, which funds economic and community development projects in New York.
Created in 2008, the Northern Border Regional Commission is a federal-state partnership that funds projects in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont. The Northern Border Regional Commission creates jobs and strengthens the economy in the 36 counties it serves by investing in job training programs and leveraging private sector investments to support infrastructure projects.
The NBRC has already created hundreds of jobs and plans to create 5,000 more jobs in the region over the next five years, which will not happen if President Trump follows through on his plans to cut the commission.
In New York, the NBRC serves 14 counties. By eliminating the program, President Trump is betraying the 215,797 New Yorkers who voted for him and call these counties home:
The economic development funds President Trump plans to cut have a significant impact in these 14 New York counties:
- 27 economic development projects funded from 2010 to 2016
- $5,315,705 in grants invested from 2010 to 2016
- 8 projects funded totaling $1,800,000 in 2016
Projects funded by the NBRC in 2016 include:
- $250,000 awarded to the village of Tupper Lake to improve the municipal public water system to support the Adirondack Club and Resort development
- $250,000 granted to the village of Canton to connect water and sewer lines to the community bank’s operations center, thereby retaining jobs and facilitating new job creation
- $250,000 to the town of Elizabethtown to develop a sewer and wastewater treatment system, which is required for commercial and economic growth
- $250,000 to the village of Clayton to upgrade the streets and water, wastewater, and utility systems in the historic shopping center
- $164,300 to the village of Lyons Falls to install water lines to develop a cerebral palsy residential facility, which will create jobs and foster further economic development
- $250,000 to Clarkson University to continue the conversion of Damon Hall into a light manufacturing incubator space, which will create new spaces for startup businesses
- $246,250 to the Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust to add more land to the protected farmland in the area and enhance training capabilities at Fort Drum
- $247,539 to Essex County to improve its fish hatchery, enhancing the recreational fishing tourism industry
President Trump’s promise to strengthen the economy for New York families rings hollow when he aims to eliminate programs, such as the Northern Border Regional Authority, that invest in infrastructure and support workers. It is a troubling sign indicating for whom Trump plans to fight.
Molly Cain is a Senior Researcher at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.