Home Budget, Economy Reps. McEachin, Scott, Beyer, Connolly; Sens. Kaine, Warner Blast Trump’s “Draconian,” “Social...

Reps. McEachin, Scott, Beyer, Connolly; Sens. Kaine, Warner Blast Trump’s “Draconian,” “Social Darwinism” Budget Proposal

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See statements below by on Trump’s proposed budget-from-Hell.

Rep. Donald McEachin (VA-04):

“The President’s fiscal year 2018 budget demonstrates clearly how much this Administration does not care about hardworking families.

“The programs and funding that middle class, minority and low income communities rely on most were stripped or not adequately funded in the President’s budget. Hardworking families in urban, suburban and rural communities will suffer if we fail to protect public education, housing, and the social safety net. If this budget were signed into law, it would place more fiscal burden on those who can least afford it, that is, our most vulnerable communities. History has shown that when America’s richest receive more tax breaks at the expense of everyone else, our country suffers.

“While I support dedicating needed resources to help our brave men and women in the military, those funds should not come at the expense of critical, basic and needed programs.  Debilitating cuts in climate change and alternative energy programs as well as the elimination of Chesapeake Bay federal funding are unacceptable.  These cuts endanger public health now and for future generations. The Chesapeake Bay is a source of jobs, transportation, income, food, and recreation for countless Virginians. We have finally made some gains with the Bay, but this budget will reverse our gains.

“It appears that this budget will simply make America’s richest even richer, while middle class and low income Americans will find themselves struggling even more to try to make ends meet. Congress is responsible for enacting the budget. I call on my colleagues to reject these draconian cuts and urge that we work together to create a budget that actually works for all Americans – not the select few. This is not the budget that will make America great again.”

Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03):

“If is serious about the budget, he should look to which has produced a morally & fiscally responsible budget for yrs… budget makes investments in programs that support working families,students,seniors & the most vulnerable in our communities…Congress must pass a budget that helps all Americans.”

“Be sure to read my op-ed on the Congressional Black Caucus budget. Based on what we are learning about President Trump’s first budget, Americans of all races, colors and creeds should be concerned. If the President is serious about moving the African American community and the rest of the nation forward, he need only to look to the alternative budget developed by the CBC.”

Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08):

“We’ll fight tooth & nail against draconian cuts to feds, which will hurt clean air & water, public health, veterans’ services & so much more.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11):

“Trump’s budget doubles down on social Darwinism. Draconian cuts to the State Department, foreign assistance, and EPA threaten American security and public health.”

Sen. Mark Warner:

“This budget proposal from President Trump does not reflect a balanced approach. Instead, it includes many short-sighted choices that if implemented could actually harm our country’s strength and long-term growth. The Trump budget proposes to dramatically slash public investments in programs like early childhood education, job training, scientific research, and the protection of economic and natural resources like the Chesapeake Bay. We should be serious about addressing the fiscal issues in our country and work together to address the impact that the across-the-board spending cuts have had on the military and our national security. However, the roadmap the President has laid out does not meet those goals. I urge him to commit to working with Congress to take a more responsible, businesslike approach – one that also respects the role of smart investments in our nation’s economic future.”

 Sen. Tim Kaine:

“Budgets show us a President’s priorities, and based on what President Trump released today, I’m concerned that he’s continuing to push policies that would hurt Virginians. While I support the Administration’s commitment to investments in defense, deep cuts to the State Department jeopardize our national security. Despite President Trump’s promises that Mexico would pay for a border wall, this budget shows he’s trying to force American taxpayers to pick up the tab for a wall that won’t make us safer.

“While the budget is short on details, the drastic cuts threaten programs that help ensure Virginians have clean water, safe roads and bridges, well-funded public schools, and quality, affordable health care. The budget also shows President Trump intends to keep treating federal employees as a punching bag, while in reality these workers are patriotic Americans who keep our government running. Just weeks after President Trump promised us clean water and air in his joint address to Congress, he released a budget that completely eliminates the Chesapeake Bay Program and radically cuts funding for the agency that protects water resources like the James River and monitoring sea level rise in in Hampton Roads. And I’m disappointed that President Trump’s promises to fix our crumbling infrastructure so far haven’t amounted to any action to fix the roads and bridges of Virginia.

“There is already bipartisan agreement that President Trump’s harmful budget will be a nonstarter in Congress. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will work across the aisle on a budget that charts a different roadmap, which makes the investments to help Virginia families get ahead that are absent from President Trump’s budget proposal.”

Below is a list of potential impacts Donald Trump’s budget cuts could have on Virginians:

$2.6 billion (31%) cut to the Environmental Protection Agency could jeopardize:

  • The Chesapeake Bay Program, which would be cut entirely under Trump’s budget. The program has reduced pollution, bolstered oyster and crab populations, and driven tourism and outdoor recreation.
  • The Clean Power Plan and climate change research, which is critical to combatting sea level rise in Hampton Roads and climate effects across Virginia.
  • The Office of Enforcement, which ensures that entities are following federal clean air and water laws.

Slashing the federal workforce

  • A promise to “shrink the Federal workforce,” without a clear justification for doing so – a continuation of the Administration’s attack on federal employees following the federal hiring freeze. Over 170,000 Virginians are federal employees.

$2.4 billion (13%) cut to the Department of Transportation could jeopardize:

  • TIGER transportation grants, a competitive program that has made possible Virginia projects like the I-95 Express Lanes and the I-564 connector from the Port of Virginia to take truck traffic off Norfolk city roads.
  • D.C. Metro capital investment, which helps Metro reduce its maintenance backlog.

$1.5 billion (12%) cut to the Department of the Interior could jeopardize:

  • Responsible management of the National Park Service and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Virginia is home to twenty-one national parks.
  • The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has preserved countless acres of farmland, waterways, Civil War battlefields, and other open space in Virginia from short-sighted development proposals.
  • The Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which compensates counties throughout the Shenandoah Valley and Southwest Virginia for federally-owned land.
  • Abandoned Mine Land grants that fix environmental contamination, restore sites for economically productive uses, and support jobs in Southwest Virginia.
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Demonstration Project, which provides workforce training and related services to tribal members, a program that could provide assistance to the Pamunkey Indian tribe.

$4.7 billion (21%) cut to the Department of Agriculture could jeopardize:

  • Agricultural research investment at land-grant universities like Virginia Tech and Norfolk State University.
  • The Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, which has enabled small rural communities throughout Virginia to access financing for water systems.

$9 billion (13.5%) cut to the Department of Education could jeopardize:

  • Public schools by creating a new $250 million new private school choice program
  • Financial aid for students by eliminating the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which provides approximately $18 million in grants and serves 31,149 students who attend Virginia’s colleges and universities and reduces funding the Federal Work Study program
  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which provides 19,244 students and families in Virginia with access to afterschool programs
  • Eliminates the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant which provides funding to Richmond Public Schools and Virginia Commonwealth University to recruit, prepare and retain high-quality teachers

$10.1 billion (28%) cut to the State Department and USAID which could jeopardize:

  • The Virginia defense industry, contractors and communities by shifting foreign military assistance from grants to loans – which would force defense business to U.S. rival countries. This assistance goes directly to U.S. companies for the purchase of U.S. defense articles and services and will undermine our industrial base, our military partnerships with allied nations, and will have a disproportionate effect on Virginia defense related communities.
  • Virginia based organizations that work with USAID foreign assistance programs with contracts worth more than $1 billion every year.

$15 Billion (17.9%) cut to Department of Health and Human Services could jeopardize:

  • National Institutes of Health: A $6 billion (20%) decrease that will go back on recent funding increases including the additional funding passed in last year’s 21st Century Cures Act. This will impact lifesaving medical research.
  • Training programs for nurses and other health professionals, which would be cut by $403 million. These programs prepare medical professionals for in-demand jobs in Virginia.

$2.8 billion (6.8%) increase to the Department of Homeland Security, primarily to pay for border wall construction and immigration enforcement. Proposed cuts could jeopardize:

  • Grant funding for counterterrorism and preparedness.  The budget proposes cutting FEMA preparedness grants for state and local entities by $667 million.  In 2016, Virginia received more than $18 million in FEMA preparedness grants for counterterrorism efforts including local law enforcement equipment and training, port security, and transit security.
  • The TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program, which conducts targeted operations at transportation hubs nationwide, including at Dulles International Airport, Reagan National Airport, and metro stations in Virginia.  In the wake of the 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels that killed 35 people, the Senate voted 91-5 for legislation that Kaine co-sponsored to double the number of VIPR teams protecting American travelers from terrorism.

$100 Million (1%) cut to NASA could jeopardize:

  • STEM Education in Virginia.  The Trump budget would eliminate NASA’s Office of Education ($115 million), which has supported scholarships and educational opportunities for thousands of Virginia students through annual grants to the Virginia Space Grant Consortium at Old Dominion University.
  • NASA Langley Research Center.  The trump budget would cut funding for ongoing aeronautics research and science missions at NASA Langley Research Center, including completely scrapping CLARREO, a project that would enhance our understanding of climate change.

$1.1 billion (3.8%) cut to the Department of Justice could jeopardize:

  • Municipalities that do not comply with federal requests to enforce federal immigration laws, which strains local resources, drives undocumented immigrants deeper into the shadows, and decreases overall public safety.
  • Legal Aid, which has provided legal assistance for the most vulnerable, including Virginians facing home foreclosure, domestic violence, and employment matters, including approximately 7,500 Virginia clients annually.

$6.2 billion (13%) cut to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) could jeopardize:

  • Efforts to address the housing affordability crisis and fight homelessness.  While the Budget maintains rental assistance funding, its flat funding would reduce the number of available housing vouchers by 200,000 over the next year because of inflation and rising rents.
  • $3 billion (100%) cut to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG):  Eliminates a program that provides states and local governments the flexibility to determine funding priorities for neighborhood revitalization and community and economic development.
  • $1.1 billion (100%) cut to Affordable Housing and Homeownership Programs: The Budget eliminates these programs that develop affordable housing and encourage homeownership:

o   HOME Investment Partnerships

o   Choice Neighborhoods

o   Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program

o   Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing

$9.6 billion (21%) cut to the Department of Labor could jeopardize:

  • Job training that benefit seniors by eliminating the Senior Community Service Employment
  • Job training for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds by cutting Job Corps Centers
  • Training and employment services for all workers by decreasing federal funding and shifting funding to states, localities, and employers
  • Disabled workers by eliminating technical assistant grants to help employers retain and hire workers with disabilities

$519 million (4.1%) in cuts to the Department of the Treasury

  • $239 million in cuts are to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) despite calls from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s to increase staff and modernize technology at the IRS, which would decrease call wait times for Virginians and ensure calls to the IRS are answered and Virginia taxpayers are served during tax filing season.

President Trump has also proposed eliminating these federal agencies that benefit and employ Virginians: Appalachian Regional Commission; Chemical Safety Board; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Corporation for National and Community Service; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

  • Gov. McAuliffe blasts Trump’s budget as well:

    “As we continue to assess the impact of President Trump’s budget proposal, which amounts to a $54 billion cut to non-defense programs, it is clear that this budget is more about keeping misguided political promises than creating opportunity for Americans or making them safer.

    “Eliminating federal support to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, doing away with the Appalachian Regional Commission and slashing investments in community development, affordable housing, home weatherization, and heating assistance will do significant harm to Virginia families and our economy. As will the President’s stated goal of gutting the federal workforce.

    “Additionally, spending Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars on an unnecessary and impractical border wall is political pandering that will divert resources and focus from homeland security functions that actually work.

    “If President Trump is serious about making our country a better and safer place to live, I urge him to look to states like Virginia. We balance our budgets and we spend taxpayer dollars on priorities that work, not political pandering that will harm our economy and the families we serve.”

  • Rep. Don Beyer worst 9 “lowlights” from Trump’s budget:

    1. Cruel cuts to the most vulnerable: The Trump Budget cuts funding for WIC, the nutrition program for women, infants and children. It eliminates Community Development Block Grants, which provide critical funding to local programs and projects around the country such as Meals on Wheels and low-income housing. It cuts a further billion dollars from programs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which create affordable housing and revitalize struggling communities. It eliminates the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal assistance to those who can’t afford it themselves, making our system of justice even less equitable. The budget also does away with the regional commissions and authorities, such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, which help the poorest areas of our country.

    2. Slashing environmental protection: The budget decimates the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), eliminating more than 50 programs and 3,200 jobs. This includes discontinuing funding for international climate-change programs, cutting funding for the Office of Research and Development in half and large reductions of funding for the Superfund cleanup program and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance. The attack on our environment doesn’t stop with the EPA. Trump cuts funding from NASA’s study of Earth science, terminating four missions aimed at understanding climate-change. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the budget slashes $250 million from coastal research programs that ready communities for rising seas and worsening storms. At the Department of Energy, the budget eliminates climate-change prevention programs, including pledged payments to United Nations climate-change programs, and eliminates the successful Energy Star program.

    3. Threatening our health and eroding our scientific edge: The Trump Budget cuts the National Institutes of Health by nearly 20 percent, curtailing research into our most pressing medical challenges. Trump cuts $900 million from the Office of Science at the Department of Energy and eliminates ARPA-E which is the source of some of the world’s most cutting-edge energy research.

    4. Reducing our role in the world: While boosting defense funding, Trump neuters our ability to use diplomacy and aid to protect our national security without resorting to force. State and the U.S. Agency for International Development face cuts of nearly 29 percent: This includes eliminating climate-change initiatives, slashing foreign aid, contributions to the United Nations, funding for development banks, the US Institute of Peace and valuable cultural exchanges.

    5. Just plain counterproductive: The Trump Budget further cuts $239 million from an already reduced IRS budget, despite the impact this has had on taxpayer services and the fact that a dollar spent on tax enforcement yields four dollars to the Treasury.

    6. American road rage: The Trump budget reduces investments in transportation infrastructure, with cuts to the popular TIGER grant program. It also greatly reduces the New Starts program’s ability to fund transit projects. Both programs are heavily relied upon in the region for road and Metro improvements.

    7. Targeting Immigrants and Weakening our Security: While the budget wastes billions on a needless and ineffective border wall and a cruel deportation policy, Trump cuts hundreds of millions from anti-terrorism and disaster relief programs, including grants to local first responders at our airports, and makes travelers pay more every time they get on a plane.

    8. Who needs culture?: Trumps annihilates federal support for cultural programs, including eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, museum and library funding, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    9. The Miseducation of Donald Trump: The budget cuts billions from teacher training, after-school and summer programs, and aid programs to first-generation and low-income students. It cuts work-study support, making college even more expensive. Where would this money go? In part to funding private school vouchers increasingly discredited by the latest research.

  • LG Ralph Northam statement on Trump’s budget proposal:

    “President Trump’s budget proposal demonstrates a fundamental disconnect between his administration’s priorities and Virginia’s values. I am particularly disappointed by the total elimination of funding to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. As an Eastern Shore native, I know protecting the Bay has both economic and environmental impacts.
    My office will continue to review President Trump’s budget proposal in detail in the coming days. And I will work with Governor Terry McAuliffe and our Congressional leaders to advocate for Virginia’s values and priorities in the federal budget.”