Trump Budget, Hostile to the Poor, Seniors, Arts, Strongly Condemned

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Rep. Barbara Lee deplores Trump budget--file photo

President Donald Trump's proposed budget has been widely denounced and leading elected figures vow to oppose his huge across-the-board cuts that only spare a few agencies such as Homeland Security, Defense, and Veterans Affairs -- all of which will get billions of dollars in new funding.

The Department of Agriculture will see its budget slashed by 21%; the Department of Health and Human Services will see a 16% drop; and, the Department of State would collapse by 29%.

Public broadcasting and the arts as we know them will disappear.

“The President’s budget is irresponsible and will short-change middle class New Yorkers, seniors, and students alike while doing harm to a fragile economy," U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said. "I will do everything I can to fight these harmful cuts and protect funding that helps build our roads and bridges, supports our students and seniors, and makes smart investments to help grow the New York economy.”

"President Trump's budget is morally obscene and bad economic policy," said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) "It will cause devastating pain to the very people Trump promised to help during the campaign. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when 43 million Americans are living in poverty and half of older Americans have no retirement savings, we should not slash programs that senior citizens, children and working people rely on in order to provide a massive increase in spending to the military industrial complex. Trump's priorities are exactly opposite of where we should be heading as a nation."

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Ca.) said: “As a social worker and a senior member of the House Budget and House Appropriations Committees, I know that the federal budget is a moral document. Sadly, President Trump’s budget outline once again confirms that his priorities and values are deeply out of step with the American people.

“This budget would offer massive handouts to defense contractors while gutting lifesaving programs for the poor and middle class. Despite the rampant waste, fraud and abuse at the Pentagon, this budget funnels even more taxpayer money into the pockets of defense contractors. Rather than make us safer, this budget outline is a recipe for greater instability, hunger and hopelessness around the world. By cutting the Department of State and USAID by more than $10 billion, the Trump Administration is undermining our global leadership and sentencing families around the world to poverty and illness.

“Finally, by slashing lifesaving programs, including job training, work-study aid, public health research, and housing assistance, the Trump Administration’s plan would wreak havoc on our communities. Turning our backs on working families, seniors, the disabled and the sick is both cruel and counterproductive. Nowhere are President Trump’s misplaced priorities clearer than in this budget’s outrageous request for more than $2 billion to construct his un-American wall on the southern border. I urge my colleagues to reject this morally bankrupt budget and invest in the programs that make us safer, healthier and more prosperous.”

“Donald Trump campaigned on promises of standing for working people. This budget makes a mockery of those claims and makes clear where the Administration’s real priorities lie," said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).  “Among other travesties, this budget would eviscerate the Environmental Protection Agency, reducing its resources by 31% and hobbling it from enforcing rules that keep our water safe to drink and our air breathable.  Shortchanging the agency in this regard would hamper its ability to tackle the growing dangers of climate change.

“For New Yorkers, this budget would undercut support for vital housing services. By slashing the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Administration would harm the New York City Housing Authority and prevent it from making badly needed infrastructure repairs and upgrades. For the 400,000 New Yorkers that call NYCHA units home, this underfunding constitutes a direct assault on their housing and quality of life. The budget even eliminates the Community Development Block Grant initiative, slashing support for programs like ‘Meals on Wheels’ that benefit some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

“In almost every significant domestic policy area, the Trump budget would make life harder for working families.  Public education funding would be reduced. Transportation services would be scaled back or become more expensive. Internationally, by weakening programs at the State Department, the Budget would jeopardize our national security.

“At the end of the day, this budget is an attack on the values that Americans hold dear.  In that regard, I am glad that several Republican Members of Congress have already called it ‘dead on arrival.’  I plan to hold them to that and work with all my colleagues to fund priorities important to all Americans.”

The New York City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, said:  “President Trump’s budget proposal once again reflects his agenda to benefit the wealthy at the expense of low-income and middle class families in this country. President Trump may claim this proposal strengthens our country’s safety—yet the reality is that it fuels economic insecurity, weakens the foundation of key social services and destabilizes our communities. His proposal would undermine New Yorker’s safety, eradicate federal funding to the NYPD for counterterrorism and limit the City’s ability to effectively serve and protect its constituents. From slashing public housing to cutting initiatives for public schools or diverting investments away from infrastructure, President Trump would take us down a very dangerous path. The Council will do everything in its power to ensure New Yorkers get their fair share and remain safe in their communities.  'America First' starts by putting the people first—it’s that simple.”

 

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