February 12, 2018

Van Hollen Statement on Trump Budget Proposal

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, member of the Senate Budget Committee, came out in strong opposition to President Trump's Fiscal Year 2019 budget request. After passing a tax plan that will result in 13 million fewer Americans having health insurance, this budget would take coverage from tens of millions of additional Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting Medicare and Medicaid. It would cut Social Security Disability Insurance - breaking President Trump's promise not to cut Social Security - and gut programs that help provide a basic standard of living for working-class families.

"This budget makes it clear that President Trump is doubling down on the Republican effort to squeeze working families in order to pay for his massive tax giveaway to the very wealthy and big corporations. He is not just failing to help the 'forgotten' men and women he promised to prioritize - this budget actually makes their lives harder," said Senator Van Hollen.

The budget fails to invest in our economy. Instead of making a real, sustained investment in our crumbling infrastructure, this budget pays lip service to that idea with no real plan for a way forward. President Trump wants to make it even harder for Americans to pay back their student loans and eliminates programs to recruit and train top-notch teachers in public schools. The budget also claims to make our nation more secure, but invests in a senseless border wall while continuing to underfund American diplomacy.

Van Hollen added, "Once again, millionaires win under this plan - while working families, kids, individuals with disabilities, and seniors are out in the cold. I wish this was a surprise, but it's more of the same from this Administration. President Trump's budget should be a non-starter for Congress."

Maryland is particularly hard hit under the Trump Budget. Hundreds of thousands of people in our state are already facing higher taxes because of the GOP plan. Now federal workers are facing $150 billion in cuts to their retirement, and at a time when their professionalism and expertise is often the only thing keeping the Administration from total chaos. It drastically limits the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to safeguard our environment and the Chesapeake Bay. It eliminates programs like the Community Development Block Grant and the TIGER Grant that help local communities fund key infrastructure priorities. It ends crucial NASA programs like PACE and DSCOVR - housed at Goddard Space Flight Center - that enhance our understanding of earth science. Republicans used to claim that deficit reduction was the reason for their draconian cuts - but that too has been abandoned.

"Even after cooking the books, they still can't even claim to balance the budget," said Van Hollen. "Families in Maryland and across the country deserve better. I will keep working on a bipartisan basis to invest in our nation, grow our economy, and ensure our children have a brighter future."