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Will Republican congressmen repeat Trumpcare failure?

Five-year-old Zamariah Smith was excited to do some coloring after reading time at an after-school program in Bloomington, Ind. Funding for the program would be eliminated under President Donald Trump’s budget outline.
Five-year-old Zamariah Smith was excited to do some coloring after reading time at an after-school program in Bloomington, Ind. Funding for the program would be eliminated under President Donald Trump’s budget outline. The Herald-Times via AP

If some Republican congressmen from California don’t learn from the Trumpcare debacle, this time it could be poor kids who lose out.

The representatives signed on to the plan concocted by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan to gut Obamacare, even though it would have taken health coverage from more than 100,000 of their constituents each.

Now, a new study says that some GOP congressional districts could be the hardest hit in California if Congress approves the proposed education cuts in Trump’s budget blueprint for 2017-18.

The California Budget & Policy Center focuses on one program that Trump wants to axe that helps poor school districts hire and train teachers. It totals $2.25 billion nationally and sends $252 million a year to California schools, nearly half of which goes to the highest poverty districts.

Among California’s congressional districts that could lose the most money are several in the San Joaquin Valley represented by Republicans – Doug LaMalfa of Richvale the 1st, David Valadao of Hanford in the 21st, Devin Nunes of Visalia in the 22nd and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield in the 22nd.

A few Democrats also have among the most at stake, including John Garamendi of Walnut Grove in the 3rd and Jerry McNerney of Stockton in the 9th. But many districts that would lose the least money are represented by Democrats, including Ami Bera of Elk Grove in the 7th and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco in the 12th.

The study also points out that Trump wants to eliminate a program that funds before- and after-school enrichment programs, tutoring and summer programs. It totals $1.2 billion, $114 million a year for California.

While the total funding of $365 million in the two programs isn’t a huge amount in a California education budget that exceeds $74 billion, the programs mostly help children from low-income families – the students that politicians often say they’re most concerned about. As Congress goes through Trump’s budget plan in coming weeks, we’ll see if they really mean it.

Democrats are going to fight these cuts, along with others in domestic programs such as Meals on Wheels, which the president proposes to pay for a $54 billion increase in defense spending. At the same time, Trump wants to increase federal funding for charter schools and a new private school choice program.

Are Republicans really going to cut money from the neediest students to buy some more military hardware, or to boost ritzy private academies? If so, how will they defend those decisions to angry constituents at town halls?

That is, if they’re brave enough to hold them.

By the numbers

How much selected California congressional districts could lose if a program that helps poor schools hire teachers is cut:

Representative

Amount

1. Doug LaMalfa (R)

$4.96 million

3. John Garamendi (D)

$5.17 million

4. Tom McClintock (R)

$3.65 million

5. Mike Thompson (D)

$3.48 million

6. Doris Matsui (D)

$4.36 million

7. Ami Bera (D)

$3.46 million

9. Jerry McNerney (D)

$5.21 million

10. Jeff Denham (R)

$4.23 million

12. Nancy Pelosi (D)

$2.46 million

21. David Valadao (R)

$6.21 million

22. Devin Nunes (R)

$5.42 million

23. Kevin McCarthy (R)

$6.20 million

Source: California Budget & Policy Center

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