The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that the agency would not be moving forward with a proposal to change the definition of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Earlier this year OMB proposed a rule that would have raised the threshold for an MSA from 50,000 to 100,000. With the threshold remaining at 50,000, Dubuque will retain its metropolitan status. The U.S. Census 2019 estimate says Dubuque has a population of 57,882 people.
When OMB originally announced they were going to raise the threshold, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, actively fought against the proposed change. She said Dubuque losing its status would negatively impact its access to federal dollars and other critical resources.
“I am thrilled that following my efforts, OMB has agreed to keep the current population threshold in place so that Dubuque can maintain its status as a metropolitan area. Dubuque’s metropolitan status is critical to attracting new business and obtaining federal resources for the community, and OMB’s proposed change would have jeopardized economic development opportunities in Dubuque. I will continue fighting for, and securing, policies that will allow our communities to grow and thrive,” Hinson said in a released statement.
In addition to speaking directly about this with OMB Acting Director Shalanda Young on several occasions, including during a House Budget Committee hearing, Hinson took several steps to preserve Dubuque’s status. Among these efforts, she wrote to the agency expressing her formal opposition to the change and cosponsored legislation to prevent it. Most recently, she succeeded in including a provision directing OMB to rescind the proposal in the Appropriations bill that funds the agency.