Proposal Could Cut Funding for Sixth District Cities – Decatur County is included in the sixth Congressional district.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Greg Pence (R-IN-06) sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in opposition to recommendations from the Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee that would raise the minimum urban area population by which cities qualify for funding. If adopted, this revised policy could severely reduce federal funding opportunities for Hoosiers in Columbus, Muncie, Kokomo, Terre Haute, Michigan City-LaPorte, Indiana.
Indiana Representatives Frank Mrvan (IN-01), Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Jim Banks (IN-03), James Baird (IN-04), Victoria Spartz (IN-05), and Larry Bucshon (IN-07) joined in signing the letter.
“I wholeheartedly opposed this recommended MSA reclassification and am pleased join a number of my Hoosier colleagues in Congress in expressing that opposition to the Acting Director of the federal Office of Management and Budget,” said Congressman Pence. “Should the Biden Administration follow through on this proposal, Hoosier cities like Muncie and Columbus would lose out on significant federal resources. We must protect working class cities that are the bedrock of America.”
Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop said, “This OMB proposal not only addresses a problem that doesn’t exist but it adds problems for all the affected communities. Information that we need and use today to manage and promote our communities would no longer be collected. It would simply cease to exist. The fact that Columbus is the nation’s #1 metro for concentration of mechanical and industrial engineers – an important economic metric – would no longer be part of our story. OMB’s mission includes statistical analysis of America’s communities and it should not be relaxed.”
Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour said, “The City of Muncie is poised to continue to lead and grow among similarly sized cities, I believe we are on the right path in mapping out an economic recovery, even during these difficult times we have made great progress financially. However, even rumors of changes like this can create panic and a loss in confidence amongst those looking to map their futures in Muncie, that is what disappoints me. The last administrative change by the OMB in regard to MSA’s was in 2000. According to the Federal Register, it was done with 10 years of review and included public and legislative committee input, and in my estimation, is the right way to look at this. This proposed arbitrary change is suspiciously weighted in political preference, a practice that I have pledged to remove on many local matters concerning our city. I am concerned about downstream affects when the proposed language and new statistical standards are used to set a bar for change among other federal programs.”
The Office of Management and Budget released a proposal to increase the population threshold of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from 50,000 to 100,000 people. The change would cause 144 of the 392 MSAs to lose their designation, including five Indiana cities.