On Thursday, President Trump released his $1.1 trillion budget outline. It pays for another $54 billion in military spending by eliminating dozens of crucial programs.
While the “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” document is just a precursor to the full budget coming out in May, it sends a chilling message to the administrators of these agencies and programs, which will almost certainly cease to exist if the budget goes through Congress unaltered. Here are 9 of the most devastating cuts in Trump’s budget outline:
1. Appalachian Regional Commission (100 percent cut)
This agency consists of the governors of 13 Appalachian states and a co-chair from the federal government, who work together to increase economic development, infrastructure, job training, and transportation in 420 counties in the Appalachian region. Nearly every state on the commission voted for Trump in the 2016 election, so this $119 million cut will be particularly devastating to some of Trump’s most diehard supporters.
2. Environmental Protection Agency (31 percent cut)
The EPA, which has already had to endure consistent budget cuts since fiscal year 2010, may have to suffer a 31 percent budget cut if the current Trump budget was passed without amendments. The agency would have to make do with $2.6 billion less, and 3,200 fewer employees. Funding for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay restoration would also be totally eliminated under the Trump plan, along with 50 other crucial EPA programs like the Energy Star initiative.
3. National Institutes of Health (20 percent cut)
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) mostly consists of grant programs to hundreds of thousands of scientific researchers across the country, meaning universities and other scientific institutions as a whole would be directly affected by the proposed $6 billion cut. The NIH’s website boasts of accomplishments made in medicine as a direct result of grants provided to researchers. Since its founding in 1887, NIH grants have helped increase life expectancy from 47 years in 1900 to 78 years in 2009.
4. Legal Services Corporation (100 percent cut)
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) exists solely to help low-income families obtain legal counsel by providing grants to more than 130 independent legal aid organizations. In 2015, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society served over 22,000 African American clients alone (and 15,000 children) with pro bono legal representation. The heads of more than 150 law firms around the country have co-signed a letter warning Trump against eliminating the LSC.
5. Corporation for Public Broadcasting (100 percent cut)
While donations from listeners and viewers help local affiliates of National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System keep their doors open, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) provides a huge chunk of funding these stations need to carry popular syndicated programming like Car Talk, A Prairie Home Companion and All Things Considered with just a $445 million budget. The CPB has recently funded the production of documentaries and commentaries about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, along with staples like Sesame Street and PBS NewsHour.
6. Minority Business Development Agency (100 percent cut)
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) once helped a black-owned construction business in Arizona secure funding for expansion, helping its annual revenue grow from $5 million per year to over $23 million per year, with over 120 employees now on its payroll. Trump’s budget outline calls for this agency to be eliminated, saying its programming duplicates the work of existing federal agencies.
7. U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (100 percent cut)
With just a $4 million budget, this program is a product of 19 federal agencies working together to end homelessness in America, working closely with mayors, governors, and private sector employers across the U.S. Its chief goals include ending chronic homelessness and veteran homelessness. In 2015, President Barack Obama announced that veteran homelessness had decreased by one-third since 2010.
8. Senior Community Service Employment Program (100 percent cut)
This program, which operates under the purview of the Department of Labor, provides job training and community service employment opportunities for people aged 55 and older whose income doesn’t exceed more than 125 percent of the federal poverty line. This program is critical for seniors who worked a lifetime of blue-collar jobs and retired without much in retirement savings. Eliminating this program would ironically hurt one of Trump’s core constituencies the most, as a majority of seniors voted for the former reality TV host. USA Today reported that 53 percent of Americans aged 45 and up voted for Donald Trump.
9. Community Development Block Grant program (100 percent cut)
The Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), which operates under the umbrella of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), would see its entire $3 billion budget eliminated under Trump’s spending plan. According to HUD’s website, the block grants are awarded to metropolitan areas of 50,000 people or more and scale up based on population. The CDBG’s funding helps these communities provide affordable housing and job opportunities for the most vulnerable populations.
Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook.