Capitol Alert

What Californians are saying about Trump’s budget plan

Here are some responses to President Donald J. Trump’s proposed budget:

Gov. Jerry Brown:

“This budget proposal is based on utterly bogus economic assumptions. It gives a massive tax break to the wealthiest, while imposing painful and debilitating burdens on tens of millions of decent and hard-working people. It’s unconscionable and un-American.”

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California:

“At its core, this budget is a cruel betrayal of the middle class and threatens our ability to ensure basic public safety, public health, and public education. This budget makes clear the values of this Administration: it prioritizes those at the top, while leaving working families and the middle class high and dry.

“It reduces taxes for the wealthiest Americans while taking away Social Security for disabled Americans and tax credits for families with children. It gives corporations tax breaks while eliminating resources for students trying to pay for college. It spends billions of dollars on a wall that won’t work, while cutting access to health care and initiatives to cure cancer.

“I will stand up, speak out, and fight against this budget at every turn just as I will fight against this Administration’s efforts to strip health care from millions. We are better than this.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield:

“The White House has produced a strong, conservative budget. While I continue to review the details, it’s obvious that the White House sticks to what is right by prioritizing defense and balancing the budget in ten years. This budget also focuses on the President’s priorities to shrink the size and scope of the federal government—and that’s good. For too long we have judged federal programs by how much we spend on them rather than on their outcomes. With a strong focus on program accountability, we can help people achieve self-sufficiency like we did with welfare reform in the 1990s. As Congress continues to work, this fiscally responsible budget is a great starting point in our effort to promote growth and create higher incomes and better lives for Americans and their families.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:

“President Trump’s budget is a stark showcase of the President’s broken promises to America’s hard-working families. It’s a short-sighted and cruel budget that perfectly reflects what Republicans in Congress have been trying to inflict on America for years.

“After all his grandiose promises, the President’s budget would devastate our search for new medicines and cures, slash the education that our children need, and ransack our investments in good-paying jobs for America’s families. It would roll back America’s leadership in clean energy while assaulting the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Families across America would suffer, with particularly harsh effects on rural communities.

“Throwing billions at defense while abandoning working families will only hollow out our national strength. The budget is a statement of our values. President Trump’s budget shows he does not value the future of seniors, children and working families.”

Eric Bauman, chairman, California Democratic Party:

“The President's proposal takes a wrecking ball to California, particularly its most vulnerable citizens, seniors, immigrants, and the middle class. Gutting Meals on Wheels, Medicaid, childhood nutrition programs, college loan programs, and disability benefits, while putting billions into the construction of a border wall makes no sense from either a human or a budgetary perspective. The Trump budget blasts holes in California's safety net and state budget, and I am confident Democrats in our Congressional delegation will fight to block this budget and work to pass one which reflects the values of the American people.”

Rep. David G. Valadao, R-Hanford:

“With our national debt rising over nineteen trillion dollars and an annual budget deficit of over five hundred billion dollars, the United States must work to reduce federal spending and protect our economy for the next generation of Americans.

“However, as a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I believe we must balance our duty to reduce spending with the needs of communities throughout the United States. It’s important to adequately fund the critical programs and services many Americans, like my constituents in California’s Central Valley, rely on every day.

“As the Committee proceeds through the appropriations process, I look forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats to carefully consider future funding levels and enact responsible spending policies for all Americans.”

Laphonza Butler, president of Service Employees International Union:

“Trump’s budget is a reflection of his values, and they are values SEIU members reject. They are values that would give Trump, his family, his corporate friends and cabinet more money by tearing away life-saving healthcare and security from someone like Charice, who lives in Tulare. She had access to a mammogram only after she obtained Medi-Cal coverage. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, and Medi-Cal has been with her through chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation. She is currently cancer free, but still receiving treatment.

“From cuts to healthcare for millions of working families, to nutrition for poor children, to care for destitute seniors, the Trump budget is a blueprint for a hungry and sick America, a country that abandons people to suffering and is devoid of opportunity for all but the few fortunate enough to be born into Trump-like dynasties.

“California members of Congress must choose if they endorse these destructive values or not. SEIU members are ready to fight for our values: care, inclusion, and compassion.”

Frank Mecca, executive director, County Welfare Directors Association of California:

“The unbelievably harsh budget released today by the Trump Administration would force states to cut benefits and services in to low-income children, families and individuals, under the guise of ‘state flexibility.’

“The budget block grants funding, cuts existing block grants and introduces new state shares of cost into programs. Little is spared: Medicaid, SNAP and TANF, which serve many of the same people, would all be hit hard.

“Cutting the funds available to states while dangling the ability to tie health care to work requirements and reduce benefits below their current modest levels, will simply drive states into a race to the bottom.

“It’s alarming, but sadly not surprising, to see the President shift these funds away from the poor and needy and towards his friends in the upper income brackets through unsustainable tax breaks.”

Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California:

“This federal budget would savage California’s health care system, including cutting in half the federal dollars for care for 14 million Californians in Medi-Cal, and tens of billions of dollars to the hospitals and health providers we all rely on. President Trump’s budget would cause carnage to key safety-net services and core public health programs, all to finance massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest.

“This budget doubles down on the devastating impacts of the House health bill that would leave over 4 million more Californians uninsured, and cut Medi-Cal and our state budget health system ultimately by over $24 billion a year. This budget goes beyond the over $800 billion dollar cut to Medicaid, extracting a $1.5 trillion cut over 10 years--a cut ultimately by half to Medi-Cal that covers a third of the state, over half of our children, and two-thirds of our nursing home residents in California. The raw destruction of this budget proposal should be opposed by every California Congressmember, yet we are alarmed that the fourteen members of our delegation that voted for the House health care bill will continue to enable this dismantling of the California health system and core services.”

Janet Napolitano, president, University of California:

“While many voices have been raised against President Trump’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, I would like to concentrate on what such drastic cuts in federal support would mean for the University of California and public higher education throughout the country. As president of the nation’s largest public research university, I urge Congress to immediately begin work on a revised budget proposal that makes meaningful investments to help our students, protect our patients and keep America’s research enterprise pre-eminent.

“The University of California currently receives more than $8 billion in federal support, including over $3 billion for our research enterprise, $1.6 billion in student financial aid and $3.1 billion in patient care support. With the proposed budget’s drastic cuts to the National Institutes of Health, for example, UC researchers might never have accomplished such medical breakthroughs as the bioartificial kidney for the treatment of end-stage renal disease, or the drug XTANDI to treat prostate cancer. Likewise, proposed cuts to the National Science Foundation and energy science programs could slow vital UC research that mitigates the effects of climate change and helps solve many of the greatest scientific challenges that our country, and the world, confront.

“More than 133,000 UC students benefit from federal financial support to pursue their education. The proposed cuts to student financial aid programs would limit their access to higher education and increase student debt.

“The proposal to slash more than $800 billion over 10 years from the Medicaid program would be devastating, not only to patients and hospitals in California, but to those throughout the nation. This cut would make it increasingly difficult for UC health centers to continue to treat the sickest patients and serve as vital safety nets to vulnerable populations.

“The fight now moves to Congress where we must work with our elected representatives to make wise decisions and better investments to protect students, grow our research enterprise and expand healthcare services.”

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena:

“With this budget, the President launched a full-throated attack on middle class families. His budget would make sweeping, unprecedented cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and so much more. It would rip food away from hungry seniors and leave our families and neighbors with little support. I strongly oppose cuts that would destroy programs important to hardworking men, women, and families.”

Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento:

“President Trump’s proposed budget callously neglects the needs of hardworking families and America’s future.

“The President’s cuts to Medicaid would ration care for people seeking mental health and substance abuse services, long term care, and preventive services that keep their families healthy. And in a cruel twist, this budget guts support for Social Security Disability Insurance and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, leaving people with disabilities and low-income women and children out in the cold.

“At a time when we need to be giving young people the tools to succeed in our 21st century economy, the President is proposing to cut public education and make it harder for students to afford college.

“To make matters worse, President Trump wants to take our country backwards with deep cuts to medical and scientific research. Families battling devastating diseases every day deserve hope, not a budget that senselessly takes that hope away.

“And the President is continuing his attack on clean air and clean water, slashing the EPA’s budget and setting back our progress in fighting the changing climate and ensuring that future generations have access to a safe and healthy future.

“Our country won’t become more prosperous by leaving people behind. We must remain a leader in breaking down barriers to innovation, curing diseases, and ensuring that our children and grandchildren have a solid foundation from which to succeed. I will keep fighting for a budget that honors that commitment to the American people.”

Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona:

“I welcome the release of the fiscal year 2018 budget and look forward to working with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee throughout the appropriations process. The budget released today clearly emphasizes our national security and protecting our borders, which I believe are critically important. The budget also proposes some reductions for agencies that fall within the Interior Subcommittee’s jurisdiction. Those agencies perform important work, so the members of our committee will be faced with making some difficult decisions. As the appropriations process moves forward, I will work to provide our agencies with the resources necessary to fulfill their missions while also finding efficiencies to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used judiciously.”

Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor, California Community Colleges:

“Congress needs to carefully consider the impact these cuts would have on our students and on our economy. The budget proposal is a retreat from policies and programs that make community colleges more affordable for students and would also diminish the ability of our colleges to educate and train workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow. We will join with our congressional delegation and partners in education to work for a budget that helps more students to earn college credentials and improve their lives and their communities.”

Alison Buist, National Child Health Director for Children’s Defense Fund–California:

“The Trump budget recklessly turns its back on America’s children, denying them basic supports that would enable them survive and thrive. It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of harm the Trump budget would inflict on California children and families, especially the nearly 1 in 4 California children living in poverty. This budget slashes critical services including but not limited to health care, education, and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) more deeply than any previous budget in modern times.”

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord:

“President Trump’s budget would make draconian cuts to investments in lifesaving medical research, environmental protections, and workforce training; and proposes slashing $1 trillion from critical programs that provide health care, student loan protections, and nutrition assistance to millions of low-income Americans. By valuing massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy and moving an additional $52 billion to defense spending, the priorities outlined in this budget demonstrate just how out of touch the President is with the American people. The Trump budget is already drawing criticism from many of my Republican colleagues, and I urge them to reject this reckless proposal and work with Democrats to craft a responsible plan that strengthens America at home and abroad.”

Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs with the Drug Policy Alliance:

“Trump’s budget puts law enforcement ahead of treatment and public health at a time when there is broad political consensus that drugs should be treated as a health issue. This budget represents a major step backward in the fight to end the opioid crisis. Nearly five decades of a war on drugs has shown that throwing money at drug law enforcement fails to reduce neither supply or demand for drugs and only makes drug-related problems worse. Trump’s budget is the latest confirmation that this White House is engaging in a reckless escalation of the war on drugs, a losing proposition that is intensely unpopular with the public, and a tremendous waste of tax dollars that will needlessly drive up mass incarceration and put at risk the lives of people who struggle with addiction.”

Below is a statement by Grant Sm

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:

“The federal budget is, at its heart, a moral document. It puts on paper the principles and priorities of a nation. In all my time in Congress, I have never seen a budget so devoid of compassion and empathy for families struggling to make ends meet.

“This Republican agenda is Robin Hood in reverse. Their morally bankrupt budget steals health care from children and food assistance from hungry families in order to pad the pockets of billionaires and defense contractors. If their budget is enacted, afterschool programs will close. Seniors will be forced to forgo medical care. Parents will have to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table.

“Steve Bannon, the architect of this heinous agenda, stated his ultimate goal was ‘deconstruction of the administrative state.’ This administration will stop at nothing to dismantle the lifesaving programs that keep families safe, healthy and educated.

“The vision presented in this Republican budget is clear: the rich get ahead, and everyone else pays the price.

“Democrats stand united in rejecting this heartless vision. Instead of rigging the system further for the rich, Democrats want to invest in job creation, health care, and vital services like Meals on Wheels. The American people deserve a budget that recognizes the dignity inherent in every person.”

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Fremont:

“The budget the White House released today is one that breaks President Trump’s promise to forgotten Americans. This budget would leave millions of individuals and families at a loss to the critical programs they turn to in times of need and help keep them out of poverty. The administration wants to dismantle Medicaid, cut Social Security, eviscerate public education funding, weaken our ability to fight climate change and countless other damaging choices – all for a massive tax cut for the very rich.

“The budget proposal also undermines how the government supports job growth and American innovation. The administration wants to eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission, Economic Development Administration, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership – just a few of the many successful programs that have led to the rapid growth of new 21st century industries across the U.S.

“A budget should reflect the values of our nation. Clearly, we now know where the White House stands.”

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park:

“It’s hard to begin listing all the ways this budget fails the American people, but one thing is clear: this extreme budget is a complete betrayal of even Trump’s own campaign promises to help working and middle class families succeed. This budget would make it harder for struggling families to afford food, send their kids to college, or access healthcare, all while giving an enormous tax break to those already doing the best.

The details are staggering. In order to afford the tax cut for wealthy people like Donald Trump and his family, this budget forces devastating cuts to necessary programs like SNAP and Medicaid, and slashes Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits that provide an important financial lifeline to seniors and the disabled. In my state of California, over 13% of households are food insecure – meaning they do not know where their next meal will come from. That insecurity is lessened thanks to SNAP, which over 2 million Californians rely on to help afford groceries. I cannot support a budget that makes the rich even richer by denying help to those who are struggling to put food on the table. It’s the same for healthcare. By senselessly slashing Medicaid and continuing the assault on Planned Parenthood, this budget leaves low-income Americans without access to healthcare. Long-term health prospects are also worsened by this budget’s cuts to NIH medical research and the EPA, which threatens access to clean air and water.

Understanding the problems with this budget also requires understanding the lies it is built on. In introducing this budget, Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, claimed it will force SNAP recipients back to work. But close to two thirds of SNAP recipients are children, seniors, or disabled people and, among those who can work, about 86% do. Moreover, most SNAP recipients only rely on the program for an average of 9 months. So the long-term savings he claims will come just aren’t there. Further, the budget expects to pay for itself by relying on prolonged 3% economic growth– something that economists from both sides of the aisle say is unlikely if not impossible.

This budget is so extreme and unrealistic that many Republicans are already expressing skepticism about its chances for passage. I’m not just skeptical, I’m deeply opposed. This budget does not reflect our values, nor does it reflect responsible stewardship of taxpayer money.”

Rep. Peter Aguilar, D-Redlands:

“What President Trump released is not a budget; it is a collection of cuts to every federal program that supports Inland Empire working families. San Bernardino County residents will pay the price for these draconian cuts, which target families who rely on Medicaid, funds for our already struggling schools, food assistance for children living in poverty and support for students who want a higher education. The Trump budget raises costs for seniors, college students and families who are already struggling with everyday living expenses, just so the president can prioritize massive tax breaks for the top one percent.

“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I understand the difficulty and diplomacy that is required to craft a spending bill that both supports our defense and military, while providing essential services to help middle-class families in my community and those like it around the nation. In fact, Congress passed a spending bill earlier this month that accomplishes these goals.

“The president’s budget request is a non-starter in Congress. We need to balance the budget and reduce our nation’s deficit but we cannot do this on the backs of middle-class families, which is exactly what the president’s budget would do.”

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk:

“President Trump’s budget is a horrible deal for San Gabriel Valley families and outlines the wrong vision for the future of our nation. From devastating cuts to Medicaid, an agency the President vowed not to cut, to eliminating HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the nation’s most vulnerable will suffer while the richest Americans and corporations make out like bandits. One in five of Medicaid’s 70 million beneficiaries who have a mental health or substance use disorder might have no other place to turn for lifesaving care if these sweeping cuts are enacted. Additionally, it inexplicably targets seniors who benefit from Meals on Wheels and takes food out of the mouths of hungry families by reducing nutrition assistance.

“This budget is also demoralizing for students and parents as it proposes inadequate funds for critical early childhood education programs like Head Start, which is already stretched thin to meet the needs of our communities. For our future leaders hoping to obtain a college degree and be able to afford it one day, they are offered no encouragement by this President, whose budget slashes Department of Education student financial aid and repayment programs. Our children are our future and deserving of every tool to help them succeed.

“The President’s budget reduces the EPA’s operating budget by nearly 1/3, severely undermining the agency’s ability to protect the public and our planet from toxins in the air we breathe and the water we drink. It strikes funding for much needed new transit projects, even as the President pledges to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. Instead of investing these dollars in shovel-ready projects, President Trump is wasting our resources on increased immigration enforcement. These efforts betray our values and will not make our nation more secure or our people feel safer.

“President Trump’s budget delivers a punch to the gut of generations of Americans from young students to seniors. It recklessly eliminates whole agencies and reduces Cabinet-level departments to levels where they can barely function. I strongly oppose President Trump’s budget proposal and urge my Republican and Democratic colleagues to protect hardworking Americans by ensuring these devastating cuts never see the light of day.”

Rep. Norma Torres, D-Pomona:

“President Trump’s budget is an irresponsible and short-sighted vision for America that places the greatest burden on American families and hardworking communities. The Inland Empire communities I represent are in a position to prosper and attract the kind of 21st century jobs we need to keep America competitive. However, they cannot harness that potential if the federal government eliminates $447 million in manufacturing assistance programs that help local companies grow and export their goods, or slashes $100 billion from the Highway Trust Fund that could be used to decrease congestion, or cuts $143 billion in student loan relief just as our most talented young people are struggling to get on their feet, or reduces Medicaid by $880 billion, directly impacting the health and well-being of the 300,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the 35th District.

“A budget is a statement of values, and this budget proves that President Trump’s values are backwards. Rather than cutting investments in education, affordable housing, medical research, community development, and health care, we should be working to invest in American families by working to create good-paying jobs, grow and diversify our local economies, and fix our crumbling infrastructure. Throwing billions of dollars at defense programs while gutting programs that Americans depend on won’t make our country safer, stronger, or more secure. It undermines the very foundation that makes America great.”

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles:

“The President’s ‘stop deciding to be poor’ approach to the budget is a fundamental misstep that would permanently cripple the most vulnerable communities in the short run and erode our country’s international leadership in the long run. By proposing vicious cuts, budget director Mick Mulvaney and the rest of the Trump administration are baiting low-income Americans to look the other way as the administration sinks a knife into benefits needed to survive. No one chooses food stamps over a job. No one wants to be poor, but based on recent quotes from the budget director and the presentation of this budget, it seems like the President fundamentally believes otherwise.

“Among the litter of broken promises already dispersed en masse by this tragically inexperienced administration, perhaps most egregious are the violations within the document that was just released. Despite promises to protect Medicaid and other services, the proposed budget slashes $800 billion from Medicaid, $192 billion from nutritional assistance, $272 billion over all from welfare programs, and bars undocumented immigrants from collecting the child and dependent care tax credit all to make room for the president’s devastatingly unnecessary border wall.

“This is the President of the United States turning his back on our nation’s poor and daring them to survive on their own.”

Attorney General Xavier Becerra (via Twitter): :

“A budget tells us what your values are. The #TrumpBudget does not reflect California or American values.”

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove (via Twitter):

“Millions of low income Americans would lose their health care lifeline under this reckless #budget #trumpbudget...As a Doctor, I'm concerned #budget cuts to medical and scientific research will undermine our economic and health security #TrumpBudget”

Rep. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana:

“The President’s 2018 proposed budget cuts $610 billion from Medicaid, cuts $143 billion from student loans programs, and $63 billion from disability programs, while spending billions on a border wall and deporting hardworking immigrants. This budget is not ready for prime time.”

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego:

“The economic opportunities of the next generation in America depend on keeping our lead in science and technology and embracing the clean energy revolution.

“President Trump’s budget makes it clear he knows how to make reckless cuts in order to pay for big tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, but not how to invest in priorities that strengthen America and create good-paying jobs.

“President Trump wants to take a meat axe to medical and energy research funding and leave our researchers in San Diego with fewer resources to innovate and create the jobs of the future. President Trump is proposing to gut programs from Medicaid to housing assistance that give working families the opportunity for them and their children to succeed.

Even with the boost in defense spending – which I support – this budget is a bad deal for San Diego. Congress has the power of the purse, and I will work to reject these cuts, but this proposal is a pretty clear indication of who President Trump stands with, and who he doesn’t.”

“San Diego’s congressional delegation – Republicans and Democrats – has urged the Trump administration to make these sewage spills a priority and provide resources and oversight. Clearly they are not listening. Our region needs these infrastructure investments to help prevent sewage spills that threaten our economy and our way of life, and I am going to fight to defend them from President Trump’s cuts.”

Walter Ko: 916-321-1436, @juntaeko

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