Democratic Legislators React to Trump’s Budget Proposal

Senator Dick Durbin
In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, chastised President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request to Congress.
“For all the talk on the campaign trail of standing up for the forgotten Americans in this country, the President’s budget takes aim at the exact programs that many rely on.  From healthcare and food stamps to student loans and disability, President Trump’s budget is nothing less than an assault on seniors, low-income Americans, children, and the disabled,” said Durbin.  “It’s often said that the President’s budget reflects our values, and this budget shows that President Trump clearly values tax cuts for the upper-income individuals in America over the lives of poor and middle class Americans.”
Senator Tammy Duckworth 
Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and 16 of their colleagues in outlining how President Trump’s budget and health care plan would jeopardize health care for more than 60,000 Veterans in Illinois and nearly 2 million Veterans across the country who depend on Medicaid to get the coverage they have earned. Trumpcare would cut Medicaid by $834 billion and eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, which 340,000 veterans use for health coverage. The budget President Trump proposed this week would slash Medicaid by an additional $610 billion, which would put the well-being of Veterans, their families, and millions of other Americans at risk. The President’s proposals are a direct violation of his campaign promise to improve Veterans’ health care and make sure “our Veterans get the care they need.” 

“Your proposed cuts to Medicaid and your efforts to take away people’s health coverage are inconsistent with the promises you made to America’s veterans. They deserve better,” wrote the Senators. “We urge you to consider the impacts that gutting Medicaid would have on the lives and health of those who have sacrificed so much in service to our nation.” 

The Senators also raised significant concerns about the impact of slashing investments in behavioral health research on America’s Veterans, who struggle with higher rates of substance use disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population. President Trump’s budget would cut the National Institutes of Health by 20%, leaving the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse with less resources to support research for treating substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injuries. It would also eliminate nearly $400 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which helps communities fight the opioid epidemic.

Congressman Bill Foster
“This budget is a demonstration of contempt for hard-working families and a devastating blow to the United States’ position as a leader in science and innovation. It reveals the empty promises that the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress made to Americans to make our country great again. Instead of working to improve the lives of Americans, this budget will completely devastate programs on which so many rely and put our children’s future at risk.”

“Republicans in Congress claim they want the United States to be a competitive nation, but this budget will surrender our place as the leader in innovation and technology. It cuts vital funding for research into the treatment and prevention of diseases, basic scientific research, and climate science that will hinder our ability to take action on climate change. Now is the time for Republicans in Congress to stop merely paying lip service to science and maintain the current levels of effort that our country needs to remain a world leader and grow the economy.”
Congressman Mike Quigley
“Instead of fighting for families and putting the American people first the Trump Budget is comprised of cruel spending cuts that destroy job creation programs, weaken our national security efforts, and strip support and resources from the most vulnerable individuals in our society. While his budget invests in tax cuts for the wealthy, it is a very clear disinvestment in our future and the hardworking Americans that spur economic growth and strengthen our communities.”  

“No aspect of our society is safe from this brutal budget. Perhaps most noticeably, our health is attacked from every angle – from gutting critical clean air and water protections to cutting access to quality, affordable health care for millions, including the poorest among us. This devastating budget doesn’t just roll back Medicaid expansion; it cuts the entire program by fifty percent, resulting in lower funding levels than before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. Factor in equally malicious cuts to food assistance, low-income support, and disability benefits, and it appears as if those struggling to get by and put food on the table are Trump’s biggest target.”  

“As the Ranking Democrat on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, I am deeply troubled by the severe cuts imposed on the IRS, which has already suffered nearly a billion dollars in funding cuts since 2010. By continually gutting the IRS, we are simply empowering tax cheats and confusing honest taxpayers. The Trump Budget also repeals the Dodd-Frank Act—the landmark financial regulatory reform bill passed to reduce systemic risk and stabilize our financial markets—and would impose drastic changes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is tasked with combating predatory lending and fraud. This will reverse the crucial reforms put in place to increase safety, transparency, and accountability within our largest financial institutions.”

“For someone concerned with making America great ‘again,’ the president is unwilling to make the investments necessary to advance our competiveness. At a time when the United States suffers from a D+ infrastructure rating, this budget slashes funding for vital transportation grants like TIGER and Core Capacity and even strips money from the Army Corps of Engineers.”

“The Trump Budget also hinders the security of this country by prioritizing a wasteful border wall over agencies and programs we know keep Americans safe. By cutting the State Department by almost 30 percent, we are compromising our ability to conduct diplomacy in a world more complex than ever.”

“Rolling back progress and opportunity was not part of the campaign platform that now-President Trump ran on, but unfortunately, we have learned that his promises don’t amount to much.”