Nutter seeks share of federal bailout

November 14, 2008 8:55:36 PM PST
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter went to Washington Friday to see if he could find some of the federal bailout money for his budget-busted city.The mayor says lawmakers on Capitol Hill were receptive.

He began his trip by delivering a letter to Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson.

It says Philadelphia, and other cities, need help.

Mayor Michael Nutter walked into the Treasury Department with his letter in hand, to let lawmakers know if the $700 billion bailout is good enough for the financial services industry, it is good enough for Philadelphia.

"We're not asking for a bailout..we're not asking for a handout," Mayor Nutter said. "We're asking for a hand."

Nutter wants a piece of the pie, to the tune of $50 million in loans.

The money would go to cities across the country and help pay for infrastructure, pension obligations, and other cash flow needs.

"I think they heard us. They understand cities all across america are hurting right now. All of us facing varying levels of the kind of announcement I made last week," Mayor Nutter said.

That would be a projected 1 billion dollar budget shortfall over the next 5 years.

And if help doesn't arrive, Nutter says libraries will be closed, public pools won't be filled, and police and fire overtime will be slashed.

"We provide direct services. We pick up trash, we repair potholes, we provide public safety services. That's not what the federal government does. You know, if someone is trying to do something helpful, I'd at least like to be at the table to make sure it's done right," said Mayor Nutter.

Nutter says they told him to get more details and get back to them next week.

He will now reach out to other mayors across the country.

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