Trump's budget proposes massive cuts to Medicaid, food stamps — a concern for Ohio organizations

Posted at 6:41 AM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 15:37:25-04

While the President is spending time overseas Tuesday, boxes were delivered to Congressional offices on Capitol Hill. Inside were copies of his budget titled "A new foundation for American greatness."

In the President’s budget proposal, the administration is requesting massive cuts to Medicaid, $610 billion on top of the more than $880 billion already cut under the health care bill congress passed earlier this month. These cuts could impact coverage for millions of Americans who use Medicaid, even public schools that provide services like health screenings to low income students.

The budget proposal did include $1.6 billion in funding for a border wall, with no explicit plan on how Mexico might pay for part of it, a tenet of the President’s campaign.

The budget calls for massive increases in defense spending, with increases every other year for the next decade.

If congress approves the president's budget, deep cuts would also be made to the food stamp, or SNAP program. Almost $200 billion would be cut from the program and it would phase in a work requirement, so if applicants do not have kids, they would need to provide proof of employment in order to receive food stamps.

“Of current recipients of the SNAP program, 64% are children, elderly, or disabled. Another 22% of recipients are working full-time and then the remainder of clients who receive benefits from the SNAP program are either working part-time, they're in a training program or for some other reason, they're unemployed. The fact is, that's not the case for a majority of recipients and so doing anything to reduce this benefit is a major concern,” said Kristin Warzocha, the President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Also on the chopping block is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A concern for many local organizations that receive funding through those entities. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Energy Star Program, which helps consumers identify which appliances are more energy efficient, are both at risk of being phased out.

The president has said these cuts will balance the federal budget, something he has pledged to do over the next ten years.

Reaction to the President’s budget is pouring in from Ohio lawmakers:

Sherrod Brown (D – Ohio)

“Ohio families know that making a budget is about choosing priorities. This budget makes it clear Ohio families are not this Administration’s priority,” said Brown. “Instead of investing in our communities so they can create jobs, combat the opioid epidemic, upgrade their infrastructure, and protect our clean water, this budget will leave our towns and cities scrambling to support working Ohioans. Thankfully, Congress will have a say in the final budget and I will work with Republicans and Democrats in the Ohio delegation to fight for Ohio priorities.”

Senator Rob Portman (R – Ohio)

"I had a productive conversation with OMB Director Mulvaney recently about the work of the drug czar's office and I'm pleased the White House will support its essential programs to combat drug addiction. We must continue to support these and other programs, such as the CARA and CURES, which are aimed at prevention, treatment and recovery services that so many Americans desperately need."

"I continue to oppose this budget's proposed cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  This bipartisan program helps protect our environment and strengthen Ohio's economy.  We won the fight to restore full funding for GLRI for this fiscal year, and I will continue to help lead the effort in the Senate to do so again next year - just like I did when President Obama proposed cutting the program."

Congressman Jim Renacci (R – 16th District)

"I am pleased the President’s vision for America includes a balanced budget which includes tough decisions placing the interests of American taxpayers first. These are his fiscal priorities.   Congress manages the purse strings and we will look to these priorities as a guideline. As a business owner for nearly three decades and a Mayor who was required to balance a budget like all hard working American families do—I understand the importance of passing a budget that promotes efficiency, effectiveness and accountability."

Marcy Kaptur (D – 9th District)

“The more we see of President Trump’s budget the worse it gets. From zeroing out programs that protect our Great Lakes to slashing health care to undermining Social Security, the President’s team seems intent on cutting the budget on the backs of working people in our Nation’s heartland. Our people depend on affordable housing, nutrition assistance and after-school programs to give them a leg up, yet the President’s budget seems intent on pulling up the ladder.

“We’ve seen this supply side economic shell game before, and it ends with a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans while leaving behind those living paycheck to paycheck. 

“The Trump budget cuts Meals on Wheels as if food for deserving seniors is a luxury. It slashes Great Lakes clean up as though clean water is more than Americans deserve. I would encourage every family in Ohio with an elderly parent, an indebted graduate or a trusting toddler to look at this budget and decide if it matches the promises they heard or whether this shortsighted budget will really ‘make us great again.’

“Additionally, this budget moves us backward on renewable energy and energy efficiency. As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, I will work in a bipartisan way to ensure that we find consensus to hold the line on these critical investments in this growth industry to create good jobs in Ohio and reduce pollution.”