Slaughter Statement on Trump Administration’s Budget Request
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) released the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. This outline proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending paid for with drastic cuts to nondefense programs the American people rely on, impacting everything from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Army Corps of Engineers to the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. A full budget is expected to be released in May.
“This is the most draconian, ill-conceived, and harmful budget I have ever seen in all my time in Congress. President Trump is proposing cuts that would decimate programs the American people rely on in order to pay for the wall with Mexico and what he calls the biggest military buildup in history. This request would be devastating for Monroe County through its proposed elimination of the TIGER programs that are helping fund construction of our new train station, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that is keeping the heat on for many families during a particularly tough winter. I’m also concerned about his deep cuts to Pell Grants, clean air and water, and the State Department. His elimination of federal arts programs would also be a major setback for servicemen and women as they use the arts to confront the wounds of war. Far from fighting for the American worker, this request would leave them behind by slashing the programs they need the most.”
Highlights of the presidents’ budget request:
· HHS is cut by 18%— nearly $15 billion. Includes cuts of nearly $6 billion in NIH spending. NIH cuts wipe out recent funding increases and negate a major boost from last year's 21st Century Cures Act.
· Labor Department is cut 21% targeting job training, employment service formula grants and eliminating the Senior Community Service Employment Program, a job training program for older Americans.
· Army Corps of Engineer’s: $1 billion, or 16.3% cut.
· Department of Interior is hit with a $1.5 billion or 12% decrease. Defunds National Heritage Areas and the National Wildlife Refuge.
· EPA cut is $2.5 billion or 31% cut and a reduction of 3,200 employees (20% of all employees). Eliminates climate change research, cuts Superfund cleanups by $330 million, and eliminates funding for specific regional efforts such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative ($300 million), the Chesapeake Bay, and other geographic programs totaling $427 million.
· Eliminates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which provided about $3 billion in fiscal 2017 block-grant funding to help low-income families manage costs associated with energy bills.
· Housing and Urban Development is cut $6.2 billion or 13.2% decrease. Eliminates the anti-poverty program the Community Services Block Grant.
· State Department is cut by $11 billion or 28.7%, including elimination of the Global Climate Change Initiative, reduction in UN peacekeeping funding.
· USDA is cut $4.7 billion or 21%, including elimination of the Water and Wastewater loan and grant program claiming “Rural communities can be served by private sector financing.” Also eliminates the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program.
· Department of Commerce is cut $1.5 billion or 16%, including elimination of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Minority Business Development Agency.
· Department of Education is cut $9 billion or 13%, including a $4 billion cut to Pell Grants and eliminates the $2.4 billion Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program. The budget increases spending on private school choice hurting public schools by $1.4 billion. $92 million (or 10%) decrease in funding for the TRIO college preparation and access programs that help low-income, first-generation students.
· Department of Energy is cut $1.7 billion or 5.6% decrease. Eliminates the Weatherization Assistance Program and cuts the Office of Science by $900 million.
· Department of Transportation is cut $2.4 billion a 13% decrease, including elimination of long distance Amtrak funding, Essential Air Service, and TIGER programs.
· Completely cuts the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Grant program.
· Eliminates funding for United Nations Green Climate Fund.
· National Endowment for the Arts would be eliminated entirely, though its budget makes up only 0.004 of the federal budget, ending support for programming that is currently happening in every congressional district.
· National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely, ending support for programming that is currently happening in every congressional district.
· Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a key revenue source for PBS and National Public radio stations, would be eliminated.