Congressman Denny Heck speaks out regarding White House’s proposed federal budget for FY 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the release of President Trump’s federal budget request for Fiscal Year 2018, U.S. Representative Denny Heck (WA-10) spoke out against irresponsible cuts to crucial programs in Washington state and the 10th Congressional District:
“With this budget, the White House failed to show even a basic level of understanding of how to build a fiscally-responsible spending plan that yields a strong return on investment. This proposal, full of arbitrary and politically-motivated cuts, is completely unacceptable for hard-working Washingtonians and the needs of our economy.
“I have been a strong advocate for good-paying jobs, a healthy Puget Sound, a roof over everyone’s head, and access to food, care, and medicine for our senior citizens. I don’t know a single Washingtonian who advocates for more cuts to job training programs and transportation programs. This would be a giant step backwards for our local community, as well as communities nationwide.
“It is now time for Congress to take the lead, throw this plan in the recycle bin, work in a bipartisan fashion, and come up with a serious proposal the American people deserve.”
Federal budget cuts that would have a devastating impact on Washington state and the 10th Congressional District include:
- The complete elimination of EPA’s Puget Sound recovery program as well as critical NOAA programs serving coastal communities. In 2016, $28 million was appropriated for Puget Sound recovery.
- A $5.8 billion dollar cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funds lifesaving medical research. In 2016, the University of Washington received $522 million and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center received $247 million from the National Institutes of Health.
- Elimination of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which provides critical funding for programs to support local communities. CDBG funding nationwide totaled $3 billion in 2017. In Olympia, recent CDBG grants provided $200,000 for the Providence Community Care Center, $40,000 for water services to 104 senior and disabled households, and $45,000 to support micro-business training for low-income entrepreneurs. CDBG funding has also gone to local Meals on Wheels programs, local after school programs for low-income children, and local resources for victims of domestic violence.
- Elimination of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program helps manage costs like home energy bills, energy crises, or minor home repairs to ensure families remain safe and healthy. LIHEAP funding nationwide totaled $3 billion in 2017.
- Elimination of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) which provides about $200 million annually to Washington State. In 2014, Community Action Agencies in Washington State reached 300,000 families, including 200,000 children.
- Halts funding for EPA’s Clean Power Plan ($100 million in 2017) and reneges on U.S. support for international efforts to stop climate change.
- Cuts $499 million from the Department of Transportation for TIGER Grants, which help fund congestion relief around I-5 and other critical infrastructure needs.
- Slashes programs to put college within reach, including federal work-study and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, which provided $732 million program in aid to 1.6 million students during the 2014-15 academic year.
- Eliminates funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) which supports Senior Corps and AmeriCorps. These groups had 7,854 members serving their communities in Washington state in 2016-2017.
- Eliminates funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($445 million in 2016) which supports public television and radio, including PBS and NPR, and federal support for the arts like the National Endowment for the Arts (previously $148 million) and National Endowment for the Humanities (previously $148 million).