If the stimulus package becomes a reality, Philadelphia seems poised to get a cut of the funding for key priorities like schools, transit and housing. But Mayor Nutter stressed tonight that stimulus money will not help him close the $1 billion shortfall in his five year plan.
“These dollars are not to fill budget holes. Everyone has made that very clear,” Nutter said tonight. “The theory here is when more people are working, they’re paying taxes. Then tax revenues will flow and those dollars will come back to Philadelphia.”
Nutter, who spent the day in Washington DC today to meet with lawmakers about the stimulus package, said he was optimistic about Philadelphia’s fate under the stimulus deal, but didn’t yet know exactly what programs will get funding – or by how much.
Congress has announced that they have reached a deal on the economic stimulus package -- a $789 billion agreement. For the details so far, click here.
We're still trying to figure out what this all means for Philly. We'll keep you posted.
Mayor Nutter is travelling to Washington DC today along with other members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors to push lawmakers for stimulus funding for cities in the economic stimulus package. Nutter's schedule includes meetings with Sen. Arlen Specter and with staffers for Vice President Joe Biden.
Nutter has made several similar trips to the capitol in recent months. This morning he said the importance of cities cannot be ignored. He also said he would continue to push for some infrastructure dollars to be sent to cities, despite comments by the Obama administration that the money should go to states.
"If you want to put people to work, you will do it in cities," Nutter said.
Remember how Mayor Nutter and other mayors have been asking the Obama administration to provide some infrastructure stimulus money directly to cities? Hoping to get direct funding from the $800 billion stimulus package, the city leaders have even provided a list of "shovel ready" projects through the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Well, President Obama's Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters yesterday that the best way to distribute that money is through the states. Check out the report from Reuters here. This is what LaHood had to say:
"Our feeling is the best way to get this money out is through state departments of transportation," LaHood told Midwest-based reporters in a conference call.
Catherine LuceyMayor Nutter today said he's looking forward to Vice President Joe Biden's task force on middle class families, which will start work here in Philadelphia on Feb. 27.
"We will be all hands on deck to be as helpful to the effort as possible. Vice President Biden has been a very strong supporter and friend to Philadelphia," Nutter said.
A key focus of the meeting will be green jobs. Nutter said he was pleased by the topic because he thinks Philly is setting a great example in the environmental movement.
Catherine LuceyAmidst reports that TV host Chris Matthews is considering challenging him for his seat, Republican Sen. Arlen Specter appeared on CNN yesterday and said that he's not backing down.
According to a transcript published on the blog TVNEWSER, here's what Specter told Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition when asked about the prospect of running against Matthews:
"Well, I'm going to have an opponent. In fact, I'm going to have two opponents, Wolf, one in the primary where I always have a tough race, and again in the general. I long ago adopted the philosophy of Satchel Paige, the old pitcher, and that is I never look over my shoulder, never look behind. Somebody may be gaining on me. I run with blinders. Wolf, I'll be prepared, whoever my opponents are."