Bustos Statement on President Trump’s Budget

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

“President Trump’s budget is just the latest example of this Administration turning its back on rural America, family farmers and the hardworking families President Trump promised to fight for when he was elected. Instead of working across the aisle on a budget that’ll lend a helping hand to small towns with struggling economies, President Trump’s proposal stacks the deck against hardworking people who are just trying to get ahead.

“While the farm economy is struggling, President Trump’s cuts to the Department of Agriculture are especially devastating. His cuts to rural economic development funding means even more lost jobs and fewer opportunities in small towns across America, hollowing out communities that so many of us call home. And by cutting the crop insurance program, the Trump Administration is sowing more uncertainty for family farmers who are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

“President Trump also promised a major investment in American infrastructure. But behind the smoke and mirrors, his budget slashes funding for the Department of Transportation and the programs that build our roads, bridges, airports and passenger rail. Additionally, when so many communities are struggling with lead-contaminated water, President Trump’s cuts to water infrastructure programs are literally dangerous for children and families.

“Once again, with President Trump, it’s not what he says – it’s what he does. Between TrumpCare, misguided changes at the Department of Agriculture and this budget, the fix is in – President Trump has shown us that rural America is nowhere near the top of his priority list. ”

Below is background information on President Trump’s budget proposal and how it can impact communities across the country and in Illinois 17th District:

CUTS TO RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS

President Trump’s budget:

  • Guts discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by 21 percent.
  • Leaves farmers behind with more $28 billion in cuts to federal crop insurance program.
  • Eliminates $498 million in funding for rural water systems that help more than two million additional people annually. As part of the Rural Utilities Service, the USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program provides direct loans, guaranteed loans, and grants that rural communities use to finance new or improved water treatment and waste disposal systems.
  • USDA Rural Development has bolstered an estimated 112,000 small businesses and 450,000 jobs in rural areas. Yet, the President’s budget would downsize this important agency and eradicate the Rural Business Service programs.
  • Eliminates USDA’s Rural-Business-Cooperative Service discretionary programs which support job training, energy, and business development programs, including cooperative and business development, community economic development, and regional planning and financing. Since 2009, USDA has helped over 112,000 rural businesses start or expand operations with nearly $11 billion in investments.
  • Eliminates economic development support that sends $840 million a year to rural America, including funding for Meals on Wheels. The Community Development Block Grant program, one of the largest community and economic development program in rural America, also supports approximately 8,500 jobs yearly.

CUTS TO PROGRAMS THAT REBUILD COMMUNITIES AND PROTECT FAMILIES

President Trump’s budget:

  • Slashes spending to help small manufacturers grow and thrive by 95%, even while more than 70 manufacturers in Illinois 17th District have benefited from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
  • Compromises the EPA’s ability to protect children from lead poisoning by cutting funding for the Lead Risk Reduction Program, which helps educate Americans about ways to reduce lead exposure, and eliminating grants to states to help address lead-based paint.
  • Eliminates the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which annually helps roughly six million American households afford their energy bills when times are difficult.
  • Slashes funding for Superfund and Brownfields programs by more than 30%, reducing the EPA’s ability to help communities bounce back and redevelop hazardous sites.

CUTS TO OUR AGING INFRASTRUCTURE

President Trump’s budget:

  • Slashes overall discretionary transportation funding by 13 percent.
  • Cuts infrastructure investment by eliminating funding for the popular TIGER grant program, which competitively awards funding for infrastructure projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area. TIGER grants have been awarded in all 50 states since 2009.
    • The Q Multimodal Station in downtown Moline is funded in part by a $10 million TIGER grant.
  • Eliminates funding for the Essential Air Service, which supports small towns and rural areas by ensuring they have continued commercial air service.

CUTS TO EDUCATION AND OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

President Trump’s budget:

  • Cuts federal work study funds that help students work through college by $487 million.
  • Eliminates subsidized student loans, which will make college less affordable for middle-class students and those with financial need.

CUTS TO HEALTH CARE

President Trump’s budget:

  • Slashes funding to train rural doctors and health care providers. The Administration’s budget slashes $403 million in HHS programs that help train and sustain rural primary care providers, particularly non-physician practitioners like nurses and physician assistants of which small-town communities tend to over-rely on for main healthcare needs due to scarcity of primary care doctors.
  • Cripples life-saving medical research by cutting the National Institutes of Health budget by 21%– $6 billion by next year.
  • Defunds the health care of children, seniors and veterans through $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid program and forcing states to ration care.

 

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