Obama Prepares $320 Million Detroit Aid Package as Shutdown Looms
Obama Administration officials led by Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Detroit on Friday to meet with officials to discuss President Barack Obama's plans to give a package of at least $320 million to the bankrupt Motor City, which now has $18.5 billion in longterm debt obligations.
Obama wants to give Detroit's dwindling population--now 700,000 down from 1.8 million--taxpayer dollars to fund neighborhood redevelopment, bus repairs, a streetcar project, police officers, firefighters, and youth anti-violence programs.
Obama's Detroit aid plan places the president in an awkward political position. In 2012, Obama boasted that his leadership prevented Detroit from going bankrupt.
"We refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. I bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way," said Obama.
Joining Holder will be Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan; Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx; National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Democratic Detroit Mayor Dave Bing; and Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
"This effort is about lifting up Detroit, and committing to a shared, long-term investment that will enable the businesses and residents in Detroit to expand opportunity and renew this world-class city," said Sperling.
Detroit is the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.