NEWS

ASFPM Opposes President’s FY18 Federal Budget

Mar 17, 2017 | News & Views

ASFPM Opposes President’s FY’18 Federal Budget

President Trump just released his proposed FY18 federal
budget and ASFPM opposes it. The budget fails to make America safer from
natural disasters, especially floods, the leading cause of disasters in this
nation. The budget cuts myriad federal programs in FEMA, HUD, Corps of
Engineers, NOAA, EPA and USDA that communities and states use to build safer
and protect citizens from the frequently occurring flood disasters.

The proposed budget cuts FEMA’s flood mapping program by
$190 million, and the entire pre-disaster mitigation program. In addition, the
administration proposes a 16 percent cut to USACE, 31 percent from EPA and
technical assistance to farmers for conservation programs from USDA watershed programs
that assist in not only clean water, but help reduce flood losses. It zeroes
out more than $250 million in targeted NOAA grants and programs supporting
coastal and marine management, climate change programs, research and education.
This would include the Coastal Zone Management Program and the widely popular Sea
Grant Program.

All of this is occurring during a period of increased
natural disasters. During 2016, the nation experienced some of the greatest
disaster costs according to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental
Information, which tracks U.S. weather and climate events that have
great economic and societal impacts. Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 203
weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or
exceeded $1 billion (including adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index,
as of January 2017). The cumulative costs for these 203 events exceed $1.1
trillion.

Federal
budgets must help communities prepare for and mitigate the risk and costs of
these disasters. The federal budget proposal cuts essential community
development, housing and transportation programs utilized by communities across
the nation. At a time when cities and towns face significant challenges to
infrastructure investment, affordable housing and economic development, the
elimination of critical and proven federal programs will make communities less
safe and increase disaster costs.

Flood
mapping and mitigation programs are the foundation for communities and states
to manage flood risk, build community resilience and strengthen their
economies. These programs have been successful, had bipartisan support and help
leverage sustainable private sector investments. Additionally, the cuts in this
budget also make our communities more vulnerable and less safe.

We
believe the scope of these cuts places jobs, development projects and public
health at risk. We do not believe the cuts are consistent with the expressed
priorities of President Trump, ranging from infrastructure investment to
boosting growth and jobs.

Floodplain
managers stand ready to work with Congress and the administration on policies
and programs that will reduce future flood risk and damage, and lessen the
disaster costs for communities and the federal taxpayers. The federal programs
must be partners with communities and states to create stronger and more
economically vibrant places to work and live. This budget does not do that.

It is
important to remember this is only the first step in a long federal budget
process. Congress reviews the president’s budget, but they are ultimately
responsible for the final federal spending plan. ASFPM will work with Congress
to reject these cuts and instead support essential investments in the future of
our communities. We urge our members to become involved in this process and to
have your voice be heard. We will be working with you over the next months as
the budget process unfolds, keeping you informed and asking for your assistance.
Stay tuned for more alerts from ASFPM and be prepared to take action.

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