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NLC's Reynolds calls for 'strong and swift action' to create a strong economy.

NLC Past President Cathy Reynolds last week joined Mayor Warren Waggy of Franklin, W.V.; Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn; and Judge Kenneth Stoner of Phillips County, Ark., in leading a united front in the first hearings of the 103rd Congress on developing short- and longterm strategies to invest in rebuilding America's infrastructure.

The hearing, chaired by Rep. Robert Wise (D-W.V.), of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, marked the beginning of efforts in the new Congress to join the nation's cities and towns in a partnership to restart local economies through a long-term federal commitment to the future.

Calling for a major refocus of national priorities to begin rebuilding America, NLC Past President Cathy Reynolds explained to the House Public' Works Subcommittee on Economic Development NLC's plan for a short-term economic stimulus package to jump start the nation's ailing economy.

Reynolds, council womanat-large from Denver, Colo., presented the economic stimulus plan unanimously adopted by the NLC membership at the Congress of Cities meeting in New Orleans. The plan calls on Congress to restart the economy through an economic stimulus strategy, reforming federal budget priorities for investment and deficit reduction, and investing in communities and people.

The short term economic stimulus package endorsed by NLC provides:

* A 1993 supplemental appropriation of $2.5 billion to ensure full funding of the nation's new highway and public transportation laws;

* A streamlined version of the urban aid tax bill that will provide immediate assistance to the nation's cities and towns;

* $3 Billion in one-time supplemental funding for the Community Development Block Grant program to be obligated by September 30, 1993, with $1 billion targeted to children under the age of six;

* $1 billion in supplemental funding for the 1993 summer youth employment program;

* $500 million in supplemental funding to provide incentives for community development banks and bank-run community development corporations; and

* Immediate enactment of the Local Partnership Act.

Citing a study by the Congressional Budget Office, Reynolds noted that, "federal spending on entitlements and interest on the national debt alone will equal total projected federal revenue by the year 2002. That would mean eliminating all defense spending, foreign aid, and domestic investment just to balance the budget.

We are on a path of selfdestruction and we must be prepared and committed to make tough choices if we are to have a productive economy."

To achieve long-term economic security, Reynolds stated that there must be a renewed federal commitment to promote, encourage, and participate in investment in public capital facilities; spend federal trust. funds for the purposes for which they were accumulated and remove them from Gramm-Rudman calculations; and create a public endowment with dedicated sources of funding for capital investment in the future.

Stressing the need for a united effort to reshape federal spending priorities, Reynolds said, "the nation's cities and towns recognize that any. credible plan to balance the budget must include significant reductions in defense spending with savings dedicated to reducing the fed-' eral deficit and investment in our cities and towns."

In closing, Reynolds urged "strong and swift action to create a strong economic environment in which we can focus on long term investment in communities and in people."
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Title Annotation:Cathy Reynolds of the National League of Cities
Author:Barreto, Julio; Yamane, Sandra
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jan 18, 1993
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