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Statement of Congressman Danny K. Davis on President Trump's First Budget

President Trump has released his budget outline for the next fiscal year.  Many have labeled it “Robin Hood in Reverse” but that would only be a fitting description if the Sherif of Nottingham went after Robin and the people of Sherwood Forest, who only had sticks and a few bows and arrows to defend themselves, with automatic weapons and helicopter gun ships.

After putting forward a bill which would cause 24 million Americans to lose their health care and would raise premiums for poor, elderly Americans by 9 times and which would cause millions of women to lose access to reproductive health care while offering the wealthiest 2% of Americans close to $1 trillion in tax cuts over the next ten years, President Trump is now doubling down with an unprecedented attack on the most basic programs serving low and middle income Americans.  

Programs that will be gone altogether from the President's budget: emergency food and shelter for homeless and hungry (Illinois loses $6.3 million), Legal Services Corporation (Illinois loses $12.3 million, 67,793 people got help in 2016 including 5698 seniors and 1967 veterans households), Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Illinois would have lost 1367 factory jobs in 2016 without this program), Economic Development Administration (Illinois would have lost 1419 jobs in 2016 without this program), Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (Illinois would not have funded 83 businesses and hundreds of affordable housing units in 2016 without this program), Family Planning (title X) (Illinois served 106,549 patients in 2016, 71% below Federal poverty line resulting in an estimated 21,000 unintended pregnancies in 2016), before and after school programs (21st Century Community Learning Centers) Illinois would have lost 52,513 slots in 2016, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (for low-income students to stay in college) Illinois would have lost more than 50,000 grants in 2016, National Endowment for the Arts (492 grants for $16.6 million in 2016), National Endowment for the Humanities (155 grants for $13.4 million in 2016), Community Development Block Grants (housing, water mains and sewers, streets and sidewalks, senior and youth programs) Illinois will lose $149.5 million), HOME Investment Partnerships (housing) $41.1 million lost, Amtrak (Chicago routes include California Zaphyr, Capitol Ltd, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Ltd, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle), Rural water and waste program ($73.7 million), LIHEAP (energy assistance for low income) $165.8 million, 335,843 households served, Weatherization Program ($12.5 million), Meals on Wheels (250,000 meals per year in Cook and Lake counties alone).

 

Programs which will be slashed: EPA (environment) 31% cut, State Dept., United Nations, Climate Change, 29%, Agriculture Dept. (including WIC) 21%, Labor Dept. (including job training and apprenticeship programs and occupational and safety programs) 21%, Justice Dept. 20%, Health and Human Services (including National Institutes of Health) 16%, Commerce Dept. (including NOAA and Minority Business Development Agency) 16%, Education Dept. (while moving money from public to private schools) 14%, Transportation Dept. (including Port of Chicago and CTA) 13%, Housing and Urban Development Dept. (50,000 families in Illinois) 12%, Interior Dept. (including National Heritage and National Wildlife Refuge areas) 12%, Energy Dept. (including clean energy, advanced research and advanced vehicle but giving $120 million to restart licensing Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage in Nevada) 6%, Treasury Dept. (main target IRS) 4%.

 

Defense increase10% – $52.3 billion.

 

I will never support this budget, or these heartless cuts. These are the actions of an administration so out of touch with real America that even the President’s own party has been taken aback.  This is a billionaire's sick dream of tax cuts and cutting services, of “if there is no bread, let them eat cake.”  Any illusions, that remain about President Trump serving the needs of working America, of creating jobs or of protecting those who have lost their jobs, should now be shattered.  The Trump budget is a budget to put America on a crash course and would leave deep scars on our economy and our people for generations to come.

 

I have already indicated my support for the budget put forth by the Congressional Black Caucus and will study other budgets that come forth in the coming days. 

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