NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City has filed suit against the Trump administration to stop it from cutting billions in state aid, a move the city says was punishment for defunding the NYPD.

You could call this the “Empire State Strikes Back.” New York City joined Seattle and Portland in going to court to block the federal government from cutting federal aid, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

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“It’s morally wrong. It’s legally unacceptable. It’s unconstitutional, and we’re going to fight it,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The mayor was fuming over the fact that the president and Attorney General William Barr are determined to cut aid to New York because they say it’s an “anarchist jurisdiction.”

“The only anarchy in this country is coming from the White House,” de Blasio said. “It’s madness. He uses the government for political gain in a disgusting fashion.”


Although no actual cuts have happened yet, the city could lose as much as $12 billion in funds for a vast array of programs, including the NYPD, transit, and a host of social welfare programs. It’s a sizable chunk of the city’s $97 billion budget.

“We’re bringing this action because they have taken concrete steps. They’ve actually taken this ‘anarchist’ designation and started to include it in applications for federal grants. We’re not going to wait for them to include it in more. We’re moving now,” corporation counsel Jim Johnson said.

The city said the move is unconstitutional because Congress — not the executive branch — controls the purse strings.

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When Barr directed the Department of Justice to label New York City an anarchist jurisdiction he said it was punishment for the city’s move to cut the NYPD budget by $1 billion, cut the July police class, cut overtime, and transfer certain functions like school safety out of the agency.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also joined the fray.

“As far as the president’s claim about anarchist states, once again, Mr. President, read the constitution. There is a law,” Cuomo said.

Kramer tried to contact the White House, but there was no response.

New York City has challenged the Trump administration several times, like when it tried to deny aid to the city because the president called it a “sanctuary city.” The city prevailed.

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