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The Most Unkindest Cuts

20 March 2017, 09:57 | Kevin Scott

The Most Unkindest Cuts

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It's one of the largest departments in the government and slashing the budget is the lowest funding for the agency in about 20 years.

Although the budget is highly unlikely to be adopted by Congress in its current form, the proposed cuts have drawn swift backlash from both the left and the right.

President Donald Trump presented a radically different budget blueprint to Congress Thursday.

The two sides have until late April to fund the government and avert a shutdown.

Trump proposed $5.7 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a 31 percent reduction of $2.6 billion.

In the State Department budget, the document says the Fulbright program will be protected, but other educational exchange programs will be slated for cuts.

The White House is seeking budget cuts for almost every agency of the federal government, except for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.

"At a time when we are in tremendous upheaval in our health care system and trying to figure out how to cover as many people as possible with best possible care and lowest cost, the last thing we need to do is cut the resources of the department that's going to be in charge of reshaping our health-care system", Ness said. "President Trump is not making anyone more secure with a budget that hollows out our economy and endangers working families", she said. After all, the funding for federal aid ultimately comes from taxpayers who live in the 50 states - there is no magic money tree in Washington.

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"I am deeply disappointed and dismayed to find out that despite the concerns raised by bipartisan Members of Congress and even by his own Secretary of State, President Donald Trump appears determined to cut USA national security by slashing the State Department and USAID budgets by 36 per cent", said Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The folks are NASA are probably feeling pretty thankful that their total budget did not change much compared to cuts to other areas.

Indeed, Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who presided over the party when it lost the most congressional seats ever in its history, slammed the budget blueprint. Eliminating the program will "reduce complexity", the budget proposal says, and produce $732 million in savings.

The budget blueprint completely eliminates one billion dollars in funding for arts and culture programs. "Our community will be hit hard by the proposed elimination of help for households in immediate danger of being without heat and Community Development Block grants that support the production of affordable housing and the revitalization of our Main Streets". White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney defended devastating cuts to Meals on Wheels and after-school programs for kids by saying they "sound good" but don't "show results".

Trump also proposes completely eliminating federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Washington state Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said the plan contained few specific details but that he had asked state agencies to review it to see how state services would be affected.

The budget proposes a 30% cut to the State Department, and the president on Thursday stated it includes "deep cuts to foreign aid".



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