CHN: Trump budget offers hardship now and a bleaker future
Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, issued the following statement Monday, Feb. 10, in response to the Trump Administration’s budget proposal:
“President Trump calls his proposal, ‘A Budget for America’s Future.’ But the future he envisions is bleak indeed. He proposes less health care, less food for Americans in need, large cuts to Social Security disability benefits, and other harmful cuts, ranging from affordable housing to heating and cooling assistance to student loans and so much more. This is the Trump choice: make the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans permanent, and take away medical care, housing, job training, and food from millions of Americans.
“Although Congress in recent years has rejected the President’s most harmful proposed cuts to human needs programs, danger remains. Why? Because the Trump Administration has aggressively sought to carry out its proposed cuts through administrative rule-making and moving or refusing to spend money despite Congressional intent.
“A perfect example of this is Trump’s approach to Medicaid and SNAP. The Trump Budget proposes massive and mean-spirited changes to these programs. Millions would lose assistance if Congress went along. Congress has rejected such cuts in the past, so the Trump Administration presses on with executive actions contrary to Congressional intent and often contrary to law. The Administration would deny SNAP to low-income workers and their children and to very poor individuals unable to keep a steady job. Similarly, if the Administration succeeds in its efforts to cut and cap Medicaid, millions more would lose health care coverage, even after we learned last fall that between 2017 and 2018, an additional 1.9 million Americans found themselves without access to health care – the first time this happened since enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
“Here are just some of the harmful cuts in the Trump budget:
- “Cuts SNAP/food stamps by $181 billion over ten years.
- “Slashes Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by more than $200 billion over 10 years by giving states incentives to cut benefits, charge very low-income people more for their care, or require people to document work in order to receive health care.
- “Cuts Department of Education funding by 8 percent, including cuts to student loan and Work-Study programs and elimination of funding for after school programs.
- “Cuts Department of Health and Human Services by 9 percent, including the elimination of all funding for the Community Services Block Grant and Social Services Block Grant programs, both of which help low-income communities and families overcome poverty.
- “Cuts Department of Housing and Urban Development by 15.2 percent, including the elimination of all funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, elimination of the HOME program and de-funding the National Housing Trust Fund, making it more difficult for low-income Americans to find affordable housing.
- “Cuts Environmental Protection Agency funding by 26.5 percent. This agency is in charge of ensuring clean air, clean water, chemical safety, and many public health protections.
“If we truly want a ‘Budget for America’s Future,” as the President puts it, then we need a budget that ensures families have access to quality, affordable health care, enough food to feed their kids, affordable housing and decent-paying jobs with decent benefits. The President’s budget takes us in the opposite direction.”