The Montgomery County Council is officially opposing President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, saying it could negatively impact the workforce in the county.
The council unanimously approved Tuesday a resolution that urges Congress to reject Trump’s budget proposal and that says his plan is in “direct conflict with the priorities and values of a majority of Montgomery County residents.”
About 48,000 county residents work for the federal government at agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring and the National Institute of Standards (NIST) in Gaithersburg as well as 15 other agencies and installations.
Trump’s proposed budget would slash $5.8 billion from NIH’s funding and hundreds of millions of dollars from NOAA and likely impact other agencies in the county.
Though the Democratic council members warned each other about passing resolutions against every Trump proposal they opposed, they said they felt compelled to speak out because the proposed budget could reduce the local workforce so significantly.
“I think this one is timely,” council member George Leventhal said. “We need to state loudly and clearly that when Maryland’s interests are at stake, we need our Congressional delegation more than ever, to pay attention to every detail and we need Maryland’s governor to speak out loudly and clearly for Maryland’s interest.”
Council member Hans Riemer said he believes that if Trump’s proposed budget were to be approved, it would “cause a deep recession” in the county and the Washington, D.C., region.
Council President Roger Berliner admonished Gov. Larry Hogan for not speaking out against Trump’s budget.
“The governor’s silence in my judgment is irresponsible,” Berliner said. “It is time for our governor to be engaged in supporting Maryland’s welfare. It just has not happened in my judgment.”
The New York Times published a story Wednesday about Republican governors opposing Trump’s budget plans that ended with a comment from Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chassé, who said the state would address issues if Trump’s budget were to be seriously considered.
“If any of these proposals ever become law or even draft legislation,” she told the paper, “we will take a serious look at how to address them during our own budget process.”