CONGRESSMAN BISHOP APPLAUDS DECISION THAT PROTECTS ALBANY’S CITY DESIGNATION
Jul 14, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) applauded a decision this week by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to maintain the federal government's definition of a "city" at 50,000 people, rejecting an earlier proposal that would have doubled the figure. Such a move would have jeopardized Albany’s Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) designation, impacting Dougherty, Baker, Lee, Terrell, and Worth Counties.
“I am glad that the OMB heeded the bipartisan warning that I and my colleagues raised over the past few months in which we outlined the harmful effects of changing the MSA criteria. This week’s decision to maintain the current population threshold will protect Albany and its surrounding counties,” said Congressman Bishop. “The MSA designation helps the federal government better direct its resources, including community development block grants for civic improvements, Medicaid reimbursements that support public health, housing funds, infrastructure projects, and so much more. Albany and its surrounding counties are a vibrant metropolitan area but a change to its designation could have been especially damaging as we continue to recover from the COVID pandemic.”
In January and as part of a 10-year review process, the OMB’s Standards Review Committee recommended changing the population threshold for a MSA which is a city and its surrounding, connected communities. This would have impacted 144 communities (across 45 states) of the currently 392 federally recognized MSAs, including Albany, GA.
In March, Congressman Bishop, along with a bipartisan coalition of over 50 colleagues, warned the OMB about the problems that could be created by changing the MSA population threshold.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, Congressman Bishop also raised the matter with the Acting Director of the OMB during a hearing in June.