Pingree Responds to Trump’s Budget Cuts on Safety Net Issues

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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) at the Recent Martin Luther King, Jr. Dinner.

On Monday, President Trump announced his proposed budget of $4.8 trillion that lists cuts in assistance to the most vulnerable who benefit from these programs.  The cuts into the safety net include food stamps and  affordable housing while bolstering funding for the military according to an article on the front page of THE NEW YORK TIMES, dated February 11, 2019.

The same TIMES piece says in part:  “The budget’s approach to health care is particularly striking given the administration’s actions in court.  The White House has joined a lawsuit brought by a group of Republican-led states that would seek to invalidate all of the Affordable Care Act.  The Supreme Court is deciding whether it will take up that case or allow the lower courts to continue reviewing it.  The president has repeatedly promised to release a health care plan that could be deployed if he wins in court, but has not done so.”

The article continues:  “The administration reserved some of its deepest cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, which would face a 26 percent reduction in funding and the elimination of 50 programs that Mr. Trump deemed “wasteful or duplicative.  The budget would shrink the agency to funding levels it last saw during the 1990s and focus it on “core functions” like addressing lead exposure in water and revitalizing former toxic sites, while excluding efforts like beach cleanup.  It does not mention climate change.”

“Last week, President Trump used his State of the Union address to express his support for health care access.Today, in contrast, he’s proposed a budget that would slash billions from Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  Once again, it’s clear that the President’s promises can’t be trusted,” wrote Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) in a press release dated February 10, 2019.

“President Trump’s budget ignores the reality of American lives by cutting critical programs from food assistance to Social Security.  Right now, one in three American households are considered financially fragile while 40% of Americans say they couldn’t find $400. for an unexpected emergency.  Cruel and short-sighted attempts to eliminate safety net programs will only cause harm to Mainers when they need help most,” said Pingree.  Funding for the National Endowment for the Arts would be eliminated in Trump’s proposed budget.

The TIMES article concluded that “Administration officials appeared to make little effort on Monday to sell congressional Democrats on the budget’s proposals.  They canceled a planned briefing for some Democratic staff members, two congressional aides said……”

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