Merkley on Trump Budget: For Working Americans, “This Budget Is a Disaster”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after President Donald J. Trump released his proposed 2018 budget:

“News flash to Donald Trump: Most Americans don’t have their own skyscrapers and jets and golf courses. They’re working long hours; stressed out about how to pay for their kids’ education; worried that health care expenses could bankrupt them without insurance; and nervous each month that the money will run out before the days on the calendar do.

“For them, this budget is a disaster. The Trump budget’s Medicaid cuts would devastate 10 million families; those are people whose very lives could hang in the balance. The Trump budget’s cuts to Social Security could place an untold number of families just one accident or chronic disease away from financial devastation.

“There are students across America joyfully graduating from high school over these next few weeks whose promising futures are already blocked by sky-high college costs, but now the President’s budget wants to make college even more expensive for them. 

“Working parents need to make sure their kids are safe and learning while they are at work.  Yet this budget guts after-school programs.

“For many older Americans, the only way they can stay in their home is thanks to Meals on Wheels, yet the Trump budget would take away those deliveries. 

“And where will seniors in nursing homes go when the Republicans take away the Medicaid that pays for that care? Somehow I doubt President Trump will make room for those folks at Mar-a-Lago or Trump Tower.

“This budget isn’t just an accounting exercise by a bunch of politicians. It’s a blueprint with enormous real-world implications for millions of people who aren’t looking for a handout; they’re just trying to get by and make a better life for themselves and their families. Our job in government should be making the smart investments in our people, our infrastructure, and our future so that everyone who works hard can get ahead. Instead, this budget does the opposite, and would pull the rug out from millions. The rich and powerful are doing just fine. The last thing we should be doing is stacking the deck even more in their favor.”

Merkley highlighted many areas of specific concern that would directly impact the lives of working and middle class families:

  • Cuts an additional $616 billion from Medicaid and SCHIP, on top of $800 billion in proposed cuts under TrumpCare, breaking President Trump’s promise of no cuts to Medicaid and placing the health care of millions in jeopardy;
  • Cuts $72 billion from Social Security Disability Insurance, breaking President Trump’s promise of no cuts to Social Security and placing many working families just one accident or illness away from financial ruin;
  • Eliminates federally-subsidized student loans, jacking up the interest that most students will have to pay over the life of their loans by thousands of dollars;
  • Eliminates $1.2 billion for after-school programs and $2.1 billion for teacher training and class-size reduction at K-12 schools;
  • Prevents millions of women from accessing the health care provider of their choice by blocking reimbursements to Planned Parenthood;
  • Makes it harder for seniors to stay in their own homes and live independently with huge cuts to Meals on Wheels funding;
  • Pulls out the rug from millions of seniors who rely on Medicaid to keep a roof over their head and receive the care they need at nursing homes;
  • Cuts funding for meat inspection and shifts costs to user fees, raising prices for consumers;
  • Threatens reliable and affordable mail service, particularly for rural communities, by cutting the Postal Service by $46 billion;
  • Embraces huge cuts to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development that would be punch in the gut to rural America—slashing programs that farmers and ranchers rely on and cutting support that boosts rural infrastructure, ensures clean drinking water in rural communities, and helps rural entrepreneurs build their businesses.