Congresswoman Cheri Bustos Denounces President Trump’s Budget as an Attack on Hardworking Families Across the Heartland

Trump once again turns his back on rural America in budget proposal

Amongst the damaging low-lights: Trump Administration again proposes killing nearly 200 good-paying jobs by closing the Peoria Ag Lab, defunding Crop Insurance that farmers depend on, and eliminating the programs that are funding the Barber-Colman Redevelopment in Rockford and the Q Multimodal Station in Moline

Washington – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, denounced President Trump’s proposed budget which undermines farmers, infrastructure, law enforcement, education and hardworking families across the heartland.

Included in the proposed cuts, President Trump proposed for a second year in a row to kill nearly 200 good-paying jobs in Peoria by closing the Ag Lab.

He also wants to cut the COPS Hiring Program that helped the City of Rockford hire five new police officers and eliminate the Economic Development Agency which provided $2 million to redevelop the Barber-Colman Factory Campus in Rockford.

The budget also cuts infrastructure investments in TIGER grants, which provided $10 million for the Q Multimodal Station in Moline.

And by slashing the USDA’s budget by 16 percent, including taking away $26 billion from the federal crop insurance program, Trump’s budget hurts farmers across the heartland, many of whom helped elect him.

“President Trump’s budget is a disaster for hardworking families across the heartland and I’m going to fight tooth and nail to stop it. If his goal was to punch middle America in the gut, then this budget hits the mark with one broken promise after another. Whether it’s undermining Peoria’s economy by closing the Ag Lab, defunding a program that supported Rockford in creating a skills pipeline to help create jobs or eliminating another program that is largely responsible for funding the Q Multimodal station in Moline – the Trump budget would hurt the hardworking families I serve. And by ripping $26 billion out of the crop insurance program, President Trump is signaling to farmers across the heartland that they’re on their own if disaster strikes.

“They often say that a budget is a statement of one’s values. As Midwesterners, we pride ourselves on values like hard work, community and lending a helping hand to our neighbors in their time of need. No matter what he says or what he tweets, President Trump’s budget proves that he sees us as nothing more than flyover country.”

Background on how the Trump budget hurts hardworking families across the heartland:

CUTS TO RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS

  • Guts discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture by 16 percent.
  • Leaves farmers behind with more than $26 billion in cuts to federal crop insurance program.
  • Eliminates $509 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.
  • 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 the Community Development Block Grant program, one of the largest community and economic development programs across the country, cutting $3 billion, including funding for meals on wheels.
  • Cuts the Agricultural Research Service budget including proposing closure of the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria.
    • The Peoria Ag Lab has supported new innovations that help all Americans while creating new markets for our farmers.  Historically, the Peoria Ag Lab was instrumental in supporting our troops, ensuring adequate supplies of penicillin at the invasion of Normandy. Products developed here also saved lives during the Korean War. They also developed the technology that allows fabric to absorb up to 2,000 times its weight which is used in napkins, baby diapers and bandages.
    • The Peoria Ag Lab generates more than $600 million in annual economic impact, and is home to 179 employees.

CUTS TO PROGRAMS THAT REBUILD COMMUNITIES AND PROTECT FAMILIES

  • Cuts $255 million from and eliminates the Economic Development Agency, the only agency exclusively focused on economic development, which plays a key role in helping communities plan and construct projects to drive economic development.
    • Earlier this year, EDA provided a more than $2 million federal investment in Rockford to redevelop the 22-acre Barber-Colman Factory Campus.  The project will create new economic opportunities in the community and include a job training partnership with Rock Valley Technical Training Institute.
  • 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 eliminates 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 Brownfield grants by more than 30%, reducing the EPA’s ability to help communities bounce back and redevelop hazardous sites.
  • Cuts the Department of Justice’s COPS Hiring Program; this grant helped the City of Rockford hire five new police officers.

CUTS TO OUR AGING INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Slashes overall discretionary transportation funding by 19 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.
  • Slashes funding for the Essential Air Service, which supports small towns and rural areas by ensuring they have continued commercial air service.
  • Cuts 22% from the Army Corps of Engineers including blocking any new construction projects in 2019 to upgrade our locks and dams and help get goods to market.

CUTS TO EDUCATION AND OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

  • Eliminates subsidized student loans, which will make college less affordable for middle-class students and those with financial need.
  • Eliminates over $2 billion in funding for programs to recruit and train teachers at a time when 48 states have reported teacher shortages in math and 46 states have reported teacher shortages in special education.
  • Slashes funding for Federal Work Study by $490 million compared to FY17 levels, reducing the number of students able to receive this type of aid by over 300,000.

CUTS TO HEALTH CARE

  • Eliminates programs to train doctors and health care providers. The President’s budget slashes $451 million in HHS programs that help train and sustain primary care providers, which are scarce in so many small towns.
  • Lays the groundwork to repeal the Affordable Care Act and slashes Medicaid, turning the program into a block grant and pushing out needy families by allowing states to restrict eligibility and increase co-pays.

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