Schumer, Gillibrand and Collins share concerns about Trump budget proposal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 March 2017 at 3:34 pm

Collins says he will oppose funding reductions to agriculture, Great Lakes

The following members of Congress that represent Orleans County have responded to President Donald Trump’s budget proposal which increases funding for the military by $54 billion and makes steep cuts to the following:

  • Health and Human Services – a $12.6 billion cut (16.2% decrease)
  • Environmental Protection Agency: $2.6 billion cut (31.4% decrease)
  • State Department: $11 billion or 28.7% cut
  • Labor Department: $2.5 billion, or 20.7% decrease
  • Agriculture Department: $5 billion, or 20.7% reduction
  • US Army Corps of Engineers: $1 billion, a 16.3% cut
  • National Institutes of Health spending by $5.8 billion, nearly 20% cut.
  • Other double-digit decreases include Commerce at 15.7%, Education at 13.5%, Housing and Urban Development at 13.2%, Transportation at 12.7% and Interior at 11.7%.

Congressman Chris Collins issued this statement:

“President Trump’s budget delivered a clear vision for the role the federal government should play,” said Congressman Collins. “It demonstrates that President Trump is committed to keeping the promises he made to the American people. He will rebuild our military. The budget’s $54 billion increase in defense spending is much needed, and I fully support the increase in military funding. Additionally, President Trump promised to secure our borders, and this budget lays the groundwork for building a wall and taking the necessary steps to ensure our nation’s border security.

“However, I have several concerns about significant cuts to local programs, which I believe go too far. I worked for more than two years to help write and pass the 21st Century Cures Initiative, and I fully believe that the funding guidelines established in that legislation must be followed. The $5.8 billion cut to NIH is drastic. I will do whatever I can to ensure that the Appropriations Committee recognizes how crucial medical research is to Western New York and the millions of Americans whose lives could be saved with better medical research.

“The Great Lakes are a crucial part of Western New York’s economy. I have always fought to protect them and have voted to increase funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at every opportunity. I will do the same this time around. Western New Yorkers can rest assured I will be fighting tooth and nail to restore the program’s funding.”

“Agriculture plays a significant role in Western New York’s economy. This budget eliminates the Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, which helps rural areas alleviate the financial burden of maintaining wastewater programs. I have always fought hard to support this program and this year will be no different.

“Over the next few months, I will continue to evaluate this budget. Ultimately, it is up to the Appropriations Committee to fund these programs and I will be strongly advocating for Western New York’s best interests.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued this statement:

“The President’s budget is irresponsible and will short-change middle class New Yorkers, seniors, and students alike while doing harm to a fragile economy. I will do everything I can to fight these harmful cuts and protect funding that helps build our roads and bridges, supports our students and seniors, and makes smart investments to help grow the New York economy.”

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer issued these comments on Twitter:

“Democrats in Congress will emphatically oppose these cuts & urge our Republican colleagues to reject them as well. #Trumpcuts

“Under Pres Trump’s plan investments in infrastructure, education & scientific research that leads to cures for diseases, all take big hits.

“The very programs that most help the middle class are those that get clobbered the hardest by these #Trumpcuts.

“This budget shifts the burden off of the wealthy & special interests & puts it on the backs of the middle class & those trying to get there.

“Once again the Trump administration is showing its true colors: talk like a populist but govern like a special interest zealot. #trumpcuts”

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