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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Rep. Waters Joins National Black Clergy Members to Protest Trump FY’18 Budget

July 18, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Waters Joins National Black Clergy Members to Protest Trump FY’18 Budget

Joins Press Conference in Recognition of 2017 Black Church Advocacy Day

WASHINGTONCongresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, delivered a fiery rebuke of Donald Trump’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget during the 2017 Black Church Advocacy on Capitol Hill Press Conference. The event -- which was hosted by the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church USA, Values Partnerships, the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, the National Council of Churches of Christ USA and the National African American Clergy Network -- featured Members of Congress, activists, and clergy members representing vulnerable communities across the nation which would be most impacted by the president’s mean-spirited proposal.

As a Member of Congress serving as Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, and having served in Congress for over 26 years, I am deeply concerned about the direction and the future of this country under Donald Trump,” said Congresswoman Waters. “A president’s budget is the blueprint of a president’s priorities and values, and Donald Trump’s budget makes it glaringly clear that he does not care about hard-working Americans and their families. Like so much of what we’ve come to understand about this President, all of his pledges last year to preserve and protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the social safety net were lies. Trump’s budget is wrong for the country—it’s a mean and heartless plan that only benefits the rich while the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces.

Congresswoman Waters’ full remarks at the press conference are below.

As Prepared for Delivery:

I am pleased to join you today.  I want to thank Rev. Kip Banks, Rev. Dr. Barbara William Skinner, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Presbyterian Church USA, the National Council of Churches of Christ USA, the National African American Clergy Network, and all of the organizers of this important event.

As a Member of Congress serving as Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, and having served in Congress for over 26 years, I am deeply concerned about the direction and the future of this country under Donald Trump.  

When the President released his budget on May 23rd he promised unprecedented growth, tax cuts for all, deficit reduction, and a balanced budget.  We all know that this president cannot be trusted, and his budget is no exception to that rule. Instead of supporting working families and uplifting the most vulnerable among us, Trump’s budget is one big tax cut for millionaires and billionaires, like he and his allies, which is financed on the backs of seniors, children, and other vulnerable communities.  If enacted, this mean and heartless budget will cause considerable heartache and pain for millions of Americans.  Allow me to share a few examples of this disastrous budget. 

While Donald Trump is busy proposing enormous tax cuts for his friends, his budget cuts funding to almost every single significant government program other than defense. Crucial agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Education, Housing and Urban Development, the National Institute of Health and others all face unprecedented slashes to their budgets. 

Trump proposes these tax cuts while simultaneously redistributing wealth into the hands and the bank accounts of the rich.  Stealing from the poor to give to the rich is unconscionable, and will only add to the increasing inequality in our country. 

Trump’s budget is also a full-on assault on our society’s safety nets that millions of Americans including children, veterans, and the elderly rely upon.  His budget jeopardizes our healthcare system by cutting more than $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next 10 years, eliminating meals on wheels, reducing funding for food stamps, and drastically cutting social security disability insurance. 

Educating our youth will also be harder under Trump’s budget plan. Trump’s proposal cuts $4 billion from Pell Grants, a vital program for those families who have a hard time affording college.  It cuts the Department of Education’s budget by more than $9 billion in next year alone, and cuts support services for disadvantaged students. These cuts will make it difficult for school districts that serve low income communities, many of which already struggle to keep the lights on and operate effectively.  Trump didn’t stop there. He’s also proposing $250 million in funding cuts from the TRIO and GEAR UP programs, which support first generation college students from low-income and minority communities.

Trump’s budget also undermines federal housing policies and programs which ensure that the most vulnerable American households have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.  He wants to reduce the Housing and Urban Development budget by 13%, and worse still he’ll pay for this by eliminating the community development block grant program, which supports urban-renewal projects.  He also proposes eliminating the HOME Investment Partnerships, Choice Neighborhood, and Self-Help Homeownership opportunity programs. All of these programs exist to help low-income families buy homes and to redevelop poorer, urban neighborhoods. 

Trump’s budget – just like his presidency so far – would be a total disaster. According to the Congressional Budget Office, our economy would grow at a rate only about half of what the White House is claiming.  Less economic growth means less revenue, which also means a bigger deficit and greater income inequality, while his tax cuts for the rich mean a $5 trillion bill for the American taxpayer over the next decade.  

A president’s budget is the blueprint of a president’s priorities and values, and Donald Trump’s budget makes it glaringly clear that he does not care about hard-working Americans and their families. Like so much of what we’ve come to understand about this President, all of his pledges last year to preserve and protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the social safety net that has protected our nation’s seniors were lies. Trump’s budget is wrong for the country—it’s a mean and heartless plan that only benefits the rich while the rest of us are left to pick up the pieces.

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