NEW YORK - The City of New York will join Seattle and Portland in suing the Trump administration for threatening to deny funding after labeling the cities 'anarchist.'
"We're driving this action because they are taking concrete steps," said James E. Johnson, Corporation Counsel. "They've actually taken this anarchist designation and started to include it in applications for federal grants."
Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that NYC was an anarchist city due to rising gun violence, cuts to police funding, and failing to prosecute protesters.
The designation came after President Trump issued a memorandum to defund local governments that were permitting anarchy, violence and destruction.
"First, they are stepping way over their bounds. Congress controls the power of the purse, not the Trump administration. Second, they are moving in a way that is arbitrary and capricious. There is no basis in law in this anarchist designation. Third, it violates federalism because it steps into a space that is uniquely for the cities to decide," said Johnson.
The amounts potentially at risk could reach $12 billion. The lawsuit was expected to be filed in Seattle later Thursday.
"We expect to prevail in court," said Johnson.
New York City receives $7.4B in federal funding for affordable housing, community development and other programs. Congress is responsible for appropriating the funds with legal requirements.
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