No matter who rules Washington, D.C. next year, New York City is prepared for the fiscal fallout—that was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s message as he unveiled his $82.1 billion budget for the coming year.
In laying out the city’s financial plan—with large outlays for homelessness, housing and healthcare—Mr. de Blasio assured reporters that it would leave New York ready to weather either a friendly or an inclement president. However, he sounded a hopeful note that his personal pick, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, would move into the White House and that Sen. Charles Schumer would preside over a blue majority in the Senate, and both would make sure New York City received greater federal funding,
“We could have a Democratic president in the White House, who wants to make investments in healthcare, in affordable housing, in mass transit, in infrastructure, in a way that has not been done previously, or has not been reachable previously,” he said, alluding to Ms. Clinton and Mr. Schumer’s Empire State roots. “We all know we may have a new Senate, with a new Senate majority leader—oh, by the way, those two people could be New Yorkers.”
“This is why I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for the past two years: trying to have some impact with my colleague mayors, in particular, to have some impact on what the federal government should invest in,” he said. “The dialogue on the ground is changing all the assumptions.”
But a Republican president—especially if it is one who has expressed contempt for “New York Values”—working with a Republican Senate and GOP House of Representatives would likely pare back federal funding for New York even further. The mayor said the budget would leave the city prepared for that scenario as well.
“You don’t see me saying ‘here’s the budget, it assumes Hillary Clinton is president and Chuck Schumer is senate majority leader,'” he said. “This budget is neutral on the question of where Washington will go.”