Montgomery County Rejects Trump's 'Devastating' Budget Proposal | NBC4 Washington
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Montgomery County Rejects Trump's 'Devastating' Budget Proposal

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    News4's Chris Gordon explains a bold resolution passed by the Montgomery County Council and what it could accomplish. 

    (Published Tuesday, March 21, 2017)

    The government of Montgomery County, Maryland, is rejecting President Donald Trump's proposed budget, which would have a major impact on the county's many federal workers.

    All nine members of the Montgomery County Council, who all are Democrats, voted Tuesday to pass a resolution "to condemn President Trump's federal budget proposal and to urge the United States Congress to reject it on behalf of Montgomery County residents."

    Councilmembers say they are fighting to save jobs. The federal government employs 48,000 county residents.

    Trump's budget blueprint, released Thursday, would cut funding to many domestic programs and boost the Pentagon's budget. Located in the county, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) alone faces a 20 percent budget cut.

    Councilwoman Nancy Floreen said she was baffled by Trump's priorities.

    "It is so off the wall. It is so devastating to everything that we stand for as a nation," she said.

    Council President Roger Berliner called on Maryland's Republican governor, Larry Hogan, to stand up to the proposed cuts to the NIH budget, like the Republican governor of Massachusetts did.

    "Montgomery County is the economic engine of the State of Maryland, so our Maryland governor has a direct stake in the outcome of this debate, and he's been silent," Berliner said.

    Councilman Craig Rice said he opposed Trump's proposal to eliminate federal funds for Chesapeake Bay cleanup efforts.

    "We're seeing the crab population and the oyster population come back. We're seeing the healthiness of the bay, and that ends up being an effort that's bipartisan. To jeopardize that with decreased funding is a huge mistake," he said. 

    Members of the Council said they were not aware of any other local governments that had formally opposed a president's budget proposal. They said they hope local governments across the country follow their lead.