“People are very concerned about this, not just in Dubuque but also in Ames,” she said.
A federal interagency Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Standards Review Committee, which recommended OMB make the change, argued the country’s population has more than doubled since first establishing the standards in 1950, making it due for a change.
But Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, said the reclassification would be “devastating” to some communities.
“I hear you and your colleagues have made it clear what a problem this would be,” Young told Feenstra.
Last week, Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced a bill to mandate OMB study the effects of the change along with other government agencies before moving forward.
The proposed doubling of the threshold would “potentially jeopardize much-needed federal resources from reaching communities that depend on them,” Portman said in a statement accompanying the bill.
The proposed rule change received more than 800 Federal Register comments. In addition to members of Congress, national groups and local leaders also pushed back, arguing the change would scramble funding decisions for federal programs that rely on the MSA designation.
The Community Development Block Grant program, which totaled more than $3 billion last year, sets apart the majority of the funds for communities with MSA designations.
Originally Appeared Here