The president aims to take programs away from hardworking families when they need them most while doubling down on his administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.
By Amelia Collins, Policy Analyst, UnidosUS
Today, the Trump administration sent its budget for fiscal year 2019 to Congress, outlining the next phase of the Republican agenda.
First, they attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has helped four million Latinos get health care.
Then they passed a massive trillion-dollar tax cut for large corporations and the wealthy: the top 1% get an average tax cut of $1,061 a week, 125 times larger than the weekly $8.46 going to the bottom 60% of Americans.
What’s next? Paying for the deficit-busting tax bill by slashing Medicaid, nutrition assistance, and other basic supports that help everyday Americans make ends meet.
Benefit programs would see a $1.7 trillion cut over a decade. President Trump and the Republican leadership in Congress tout their plan as “promoting work.” But putting up barriers for people to access health care, heat their homes, and feed their families does nothing to improve job quality, promote workforce development, or raise wages.
Usually, congressional appropriators take the president’s budget to inform overall spending levels. But last week, Congress passed a bipartisan budget deal that would raise the spending caps for the next two years above the sequestration levels enacted in the 2011 Budget Control Act. While Congress will not rely on the Trump budget to set overall spending targets, it still signals the priorities of the Trump administration and his allies.
Not only does the budget take programs away from families when they need them most, but it also includes a harmful anti-immigrant agenda and an inadequate infrastructure plan.
Here are just some of the things Trump’s budget would do:
- It endangers families’ health by cutting more than $300 billion from Medicaid, on which 18 million Latinos, including 10.7 million children, rely for health care. It also continues to call for the repeal of the ACA.
- It threatens family economic stability by gutting more than $213 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and imposing a stricter work-requirement on families. In 2015, SNAP helped lift 1.3 million Latinos out of poverty.
- It squanders billions of taxpayer dollars for a deportation machine and an $18 billion border wall that directly harm millions of American families and goes against the immigration solutions that the vast majority of the country supports.
- It cuts existing infrastructure investment and kills existing infrastructure jobs by making $1.69 in cuts for every $1 in proposed spending. If Trump was serious about improving our nation’s infrastructure, our communities need at least $1 trillion in additional, direct federal spending.
This is not what the American people want or need. Recent polling shows that fully 80% of Americans oppose cuts to Medicaid and 66% oppose cutting nutrition assistance.
Our country needs investments in roads, bridges, schools, job training programs, and affordable housing. We need a solution to protect DREAMers and strong programs that help all Americans when times get tough.
President Trump will be looking to Congress to implement his agenda and Republican leadership seems all too willing to help. But all lawmakers who work against the interests of hardworking American families should be wary: November is coming and our community is preparing to make its voice heard at the ballot box.