Through a memo released by the White House, on Wednesday, Sept. 2, President Trump threatened to limit federal funding for Seattle, Portland, New York City, and Washington, as part of an effort to attack the anarchist policies that he said allowed violence, insecurity and destruction of private property in the protests of recent months.
The memorandum is addressed to the attorney general, the secretary of Homeland Security, and the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expressly requesting a review of all federal funds provided to Seattle, Portland, New York City and Washington the major cities identified by the president as victims of anarchist policies that did not seek to prevent violence and chaos from the demonstrations. While four of the cities were named in the memorandum, it does extend to any city that does not protect its citizens and property.
“It is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities.” President Trump wrote.
The four cities cited in the statement have experienced an escalation of violence and property destruction in recent months amid anti-police protests and racism following the death of George Floyd on May 25.
The memorandum comes after repeated accusations by President Trump of being unwilling to confront violence in the streets and thus becoming complicit in the situation.
During the presidential campaign, both candidates, Democrat Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, positioned themselves on opposite sides of the demonstrations that have shaken the United States in recent months. While President Trump always expressed a message of maintaining law and order as a priority, the Democrats, led by Biden, remained silent in the face of violence or even, in many cases, endorsed it.
“My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that are allowed to deteriorate into lawless zones,” Trump wrote in the statement.
The memo also calls for the identification of those “anarchist” jurisdictions asking the attorney general, the director of OMB, and the secretary of Homeland Security to coordinate and publish a list of state and local jurisdictions “that have permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract these criminal activities (anarchist jurisdictions).”
Once these locations have been identified, the memorandum asks the director of OMB to issue a report on how he recommends operating the funding restriction for these “anarchist jurisdictions” that receive federal grants.
“My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today,” the president tweeted Tuesday night.
My Administration will do everything in its power to prevent weak mayors and lawless cities from taking Federal dollars while they let anarchists harm people, burn buildings, and ruin lives and businesses. We’re putting them on notice today. @RussVought45
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 3, 2020