President Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Puts Families Last
Access to food, housing, affordable health care and education are what build the foundation of a nation of thriving families and individuals. Yet under President Trump’s “skinny budget,” the U.S. would be left with a crumbling foundation as millions of Americans lose access to these basic essentials. The budget proposal calls for $54 billion in cuts for FY 2018 across a host of critically important programs and agencies. Here are some of the most alarming cuts:
- A $9 billion (13 percent) cut to the Department of Education, weakening our public schools. These cuts include the elimination of vital programs like 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provides before- and after-school learning and enrichment opportunities for 1.6 million children. At the same time, the budget proposes a $168 million increase in funding to charter schools and $250 million to private schools.
- A $6.2 billion (13 percent) cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, leaving vulnerable families at risk of homelessness and housing insecurity. Several critical housing programs—the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program—would be eliminated entirely. The HUD budget proposal would also eliminate the Community Development Block Grant, which is the source of federal funding for the Meals on Wheels program, which provides meals to more than 2 million seniors each year—most of whom are women.
- A $15.1 billion (nearly 18 percent) cut to the Department of Health and Human Services, threatening the health and wellbeing of millions of women and families. This department oversees a number of programs that are essential to women and children, including the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income families heat and cool their homes in extreme weather conditions, and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), which helps communities fight poverty in a variety of ways. The budget would eliminate LIHEAP and CSBG altogether. HHS also oversees the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and although there was no mention of this in the skinny budget, Trump has been vocal about his plans to repeal the ACA, which would also have dire consequences for women and families.
The “skinny budget” focuses all of these cuts on just one-third of the federal budget, and leaves things like taxes and many major programs (Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security) for another day. Although it is but a mere snippet of what’s to come, the little bit we do get from the skinny budget tells a story that, if the Trump administration follows through, would have a very troubling ending. A quick scan of the many cuts in areas like education, affordable housing, health and senior nutrition makes it very apparent that President Trump is not prioritizing the wellbeing of women and families; as it stands, the skinny budget does the exact opposite, since many of the programs targeted for cuts benefit low-income families and women, particularly women of color. To read more about how the skinny budget’s proposed cuts harm women and families, see our full analysis.