Durbin: Trump's Budget Pulls Rug Out From Under Our Nation's Most Vulnerable

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, chastised President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request to Congress.

“For all the talk on the campaign trail of standing up for the forgotten Americans in this country, the President’s budget takes aim at the exact programs that many rely on.  From healthcare and food stamps to student loans and disability, President Trump’s budget is nothing less than an assault on seniors, low-income Americans, children, and the disabled,” said Durbin.  “It’s often said that the President’s budget reflects our values, and this budget shows that President Trump clearly values tax cuts for the upper-income individuals in America over the lives of poor and middle class Americans.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Below are some of the worst examples of cuts in President Trump’s budget that will significantly impact Illinois:

Mandatory Spending Cuts to Social Safety Net

Medicaid. Slashes more than $600 billion in Medicaid funding over the next decade.  In Illinois, three million people depend on Medicaid for health insurance.  Illinois schools received about $150 million in Medicaid funds last year to provide services to students with disabilities.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Cuts program by 25 percent ($193 billion reduction over 10 years) by tightening eligibility requirements.  In Illinois, two million low-income people are served by SNAP.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Cuts $5.8 billion from CHIP over decade including a 20 percent cut next year alone.  In Illinois, 50 percent of kids – 1.5 million – depend on Medicaid and CHIP for health insurance.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Cuts $21 billion through changes to TANF, which provides financial assistance to needy families.

Medical / Science Research Cuts

National Institutes of Health (NIH): Cuts $7.2 billion from NIH, bringing NIH funding to its lowest level since 2002 – including a $1 billion cut to the National Cancer Institute.

Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC): Cuts $1.3 billion from the CDC.

Department of Energy’s Office of Science: Cuts $900 million from Office of Science, which supports Argonne and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois.

Transportation Cuts

Department of Transportation (DOT): Reduces DOT funding by 12 percent.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants: Eliminates the TIGER grant program. Several projects have been funded under the TIGER grant program in Illinois including: the Springfield Rail Improvement Project, the Warehouse District in Peoria, the Multimodal Facilities in Moline, Normal and Alton and the CREATE project in Chicago.

Capital Investment Grants: Cuts $1.2 billion in transit grant funding by eliminating grants for future transit projects.  $100 million in Core Capacity funds, a competitive grant program Durbin created as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), was recently allocated to help fund the Chicago Transit Authority’s modernization of the Red and Purple lines.

Amtrak: Eliminates funding for Amtrak’s long-distance train service. Eight of Amtrak’s 15 long distance trains run through Illinois.

Essential Air Service Program (EAS): Eliminates the EAS program that subsidizes commercial flights to rural Illinois airports in Quincy, Decatur, and Marion.

Environment Cuts

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Cuts $2.4 billion from EPA by eliminating more than 50 EPA programs and 3,200 EPA jobs.

Climate Change: Ends the Clean Power Plan and international climate change programs.

Great Lakes Restoration Cuts

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI): Eliminates funding for GLRI, which Illinois uses to restore habitat and wetlands, clean up toxic pollution, and combat invasive species like Asian carp.

Housing Cuts

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): Eliminates the $3 billion CDBG program.  Illinois received $149 million in CDBG grants last year.

Section 8 Housing: Cuts Section 8 voucher renewals by $771 million, which helped 91,000 Illinois households last year.

Home Heating Cuts

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Eliminates the LIHEAP program. Illinois received $166 million to help low-income families heat their homes last year.

Job Training Cuts

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA): Cuts $1.1 billion from WIOA formula programs for job training and employment services.

State and Local Homeland Security Grants Cuts 

Makes significant cuts to homeland security grants that states and localities use to protect against terror attacks.

Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants: Cut by $157 million.

State Homeland Security grants: Cut by $118 million.

Transit security grants: Cut by $52 million.

Port security grant: Cut by $52 million.

Emergency management performance grants: Cut by $71 million.

K-12 Education Cuts

Public Schools: Diverts $1 billion in funding from public schools and poor students to support the controversial school voucher program.

Afterschool Programs: Eliminates $1.2 billion afterschool-program that serves 1.6 million children, of which many are low-income. In 2016, Illinois received more than $52 million to serve 52,513 students.

Teacher training and literacy programs: Eliminates the $43 million teacher preparation program and the nearly $190 million literacy program.

Student Loan Cuts

Subsidized Student Loans: Eliminates $38 billion over ten years in subsidized student loans for needy students.

Federal Work Study: Slashes funds for Federal Work Study in half.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: Eliminates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which allows students who take low-paying public service jobs to receive loan forgiveness.