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WA Congressman: Illegal, unconstitutional for Trump to cut Seattle funding

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on the North Portico of the White House. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr labeled Seattle an anarchist city for its handling of the CHOP zone, and now there’s a threat to withhold federal funding. Congressman Adam Smith is a Democrat that represents the 9th district, and is not happy about the move.

“We’ve got a really big problem with extremist violence in this country, both right and left. It needs to actually be seriously addressed, but the problem with this is it’s illegal and it’s unconstitutional,” Smith told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “I mean, the president’s basically saying, ‘I don’t like the city of Seattle, and Portland, and New York, so I’m going to cut off their funds.’”

“And I hope your listeners would think, what if Barack Obama had said, ‘I don’t like Oklahoma’s gun laws, I think they’re leading to too many deaths, so I’m going to stop sending them federal money?’ I mean, if you don’t oppose what the president is doing here, you basically support authoritarian government, that the president could decide on his own and against the law when he wants to cut money off to certain jurisdictions,” Smith added. “I think this is wrong, whether a Democrat or Republican does it, and it’s a direct threat to the laws and the Constitution of this country.”

Can Trump legally cut federal funding to Seattle over riots and lawlessness?

Jason asked Smith if he found it wrong when the Obama administration considered cutting off federal funding to North Carolina after passing a law they didn’t like regarding gay and transgender rights.

“Oh, absolutely,” he said. “I’d have to look at the facts and see, I don’t know that case. If in fact there was a law on the books that said you have to meet these particular criteria and somehow this meant they weren’t meeting it, I’d have to look at it.”

Putting aside the legal issues, Smith argues that Trump’s approach is not the right way to be dealing with extremism in this country.

“What’s the best way to deal with the extremism that’s going on in our country? I think President Trump is the exact wrong way to deal with it, because it’s all about conflict,” Smith said. “It’s all about right versus left.”

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“Similarly, I think the left-wing approach right now on police reforms isn’t helping,” he added. “We have the opportunity to genuinely reform the police department in a positive way. Instead, too much of the dialogue is focused on apparently defunding the police, which I don’t support, which doesn’t make sense, and isn’t helping change the police in the ways that we actually need to change them. So I’m very much against extremism on both sides.”

Catch the rest of Jason and Adam Smith’s debate here.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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