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Kaine statement, fact sheet on Trump budget, impact on Virginia

tim kaineU.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, comments on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal.

“Budgets show us a President’s priorities, and based on what President Trump released today, I’m concerned that he’s continuing to push policies that would hurt Virginians. While I support the Administration’s commitment to investments in defense, deep cuts to the State Department jeopardize our national security. Despite President Trump’s promises that Mexico would pay for a border wall, this budget shows he’s trying to force American taxpayers to pick up the tab for a wall that won’t make us safer.

“While the budget is short on details, the drastic cuts threaten programs that help ensure Virginians have clean water, safe roads and bridges, well-funded public schools, and quality, affordable health care. The budget also shows President Trump intends to keep treating federal employees as a punching bag, while in reality these workers are patriotic Americans who keep our government running. Just weeks after President Trump promised us clean water and air in his joint address to Congress, he released a budget that completely eliminates the Chesapeake Bay Program and radically cuts funding for the agency that protects water resources like the James River and monitoring sea level rise in in Hampton Roads. And I’m disappointed that President Trump’s promises to fix our crumbling infrastructure so far haven’t amounted to any action to fix the roads and bridges of Virginia.

“There is already bipartisan agreement that President Trump’s harmful budget will be a nonstarter in Congress. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will work across the aisle on a budget that charts a different roadmap, which makes the investments to help Virginia families get ahead that are absent from President Trump’s budget proposal.”

Below is a list of potential impacts Donald Trump’s budget cuts could have on Virginians:

$2.6 billion (31%) cut to the Environmental Protection Agency could jeopardize:

  • The Chesapeake Bay Program, which would be cut entirely under Trump’s budget. The program has reduced pollution, bolstered oyster and crab populations, and driven tourism and outdoor recreation.
  • The Clean Power Plan and climate change research, which is critical to combatting sea level rise in Hampton Roads and climate effects across Virginia.
  • The Office of Enforcement, which ensures that entities are following federal clean air and water laws.

Slashing the federal workforce

  • A promise to “shrink the Federal workforce,” without a clear justification for doing so – a continuation of the Administration’s attack on federal employees following the federal hiring freeze. Over 170,000 Virginians are federal employees.

$2.4 billion (13%) cut to the Department of Transportation could jeopardize:

  • TIGER transportation grants, a competitive program that has made possible Virginia projects like the I-95 Express Lanes and the I-564 connector from the Port of Virginia to take truck traffic off Norfolk city roads.
  • D.C. Metro capital investment, which helps Metro reduce its maintenance backlog.

$1.5 billion (12%) cut to the Department of the Interior could jeopardize:

  • Responsible management of the National Park Service and the National Wildlife Refuge System. Virginia is home to twenty-one national parks.
  • The Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has preserved countless acres of farmland, waterways, Civil War battlefields, and other open space in Virginia from short-sighted development proposals.
  • The Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which compensates counties throughout the Shenandoah Valley and Southwest Virginia for federally-owned land.
  • Abandoned Mine Land grants that fix environmental contamination, restore sites for economically productive uses, and support jobs in Southwest Virginia.
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Demonstration Project, which provides workforce training and related services to tribal members, a program that could provide assistance to the Pamunkey Indian tribe.

$4.7 billion (21%) cut to the Department of Agriculture could jeopardize:

  • Agricultural research investment at land-grant universities like Virginia Tech and Norfolk State University.
  • The Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, which has enabled small rural communities throughout Virginia to access financing for water systems.

$9 billion (13.5%) cut to the Department of Education could jeopardize:

  • Public schools by creating a new $250 million new private school choice program
  • Financial aid for students by eliminating the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which provides approximately $18 million in grants and serves 31,149 students who attend Virginia’s colleges and universities and reduces funding the Federal Work Study program
  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program which provides 19,244 students and families in Virginia with access to afterschool programs
  • Eliminates the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant which provides funding to Richmond Public Schools and Virginia Commonwealth University to recruit, prepare and retain high-quality teachers

$10.1 billion (28%) cut to the State Department and USAID which could jeopardize:

  • The Virginia defense industry, contractors and communities by shifting foreign military assistance from grants to loans – which would force defense business to U.S. rival countries. This assistance goes directly to U.S. companies for the purchase of U.S. defense articles and services and will undermine our industrial base, our military partnerships with allied nations, and will have a disproportionate effect on Virginia defense related communities.
  • Virginia based organizations that work with USAID foreign assistance programs with contracts worth more than $1 billion every year.

$15 Billion (17.9%) cut to Department of Health and Human Services could jeopardize:

  • National Institutes of Health: A $6 billion (20%) decrease that will go back on recent funding increases including the additional funding passed in last year’s 21st Century Cures Act. This will impact lifesaving medical research.
  • Training programs for nurses and other health professionals, which would be cut by $403 million. These programs prepare medical professionals for in-demand jobs in Virginia.

$2.8 billion (6.8%) increase to the Department of Homeland Security, primarily to pay for border wall construction and immigration enforcement. Proposed cuts could jeopardize:

  • Grant funding for counterterrorism and preparedness.  The budget proposes cutting FEMA preparedness grants for state and local entities by $667 million.  In 2016, Virginia received more than $18 million in FEMA preparedness grants for counterterrorism efforts including local law enforcement equipment and training, port security, and transit security.
  • The TSA’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program, which conducts targeted operations at transportation hubs nationwide, including at Dulles International Airport, Reagan National Airport, and metro stations in Virginia.  In the wake of the 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels that killed 35 people, the Senate voted 91-5 for legislation that Kaine co-sponsored to double the number of VIPR teams protecting American travelers from terrorism.

$100 Million (1%) cut to NASA could jeopardize:

  • STEM Education in Virginia.  The Trump budget would eliminate NASA’s Office of Education ($115 million), which has supported scholarships and educational opportunities for thousands of Virginia students through annual grants to the Virginia Space Grant Consortium at Old Dominion University.
  • NASA Langley Research Center.  The trump budget would cut funding for ongoing aeronautics research and science missions at NASA Langley Research Center, including completely scrapping CLARREO, a project that would enhance our understanding of climate change.

$1.1 billion (3.8%) cut to the Department of Justice could jeopardize:

  • Municipalities that do not comply with federal requests to enforce federal immigration laws, which strains local resources, drives undocumented immigrants deeper into the shadows, and decreases overall public safety.
  • Legal Aid, which has provided legal assistance for the most vulnerable, including Virginians facing home foreclosure, domestic violence, and employment matters, including approximately 7,500 Virginia clients annually.

$6.2 billion (13%) cut to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) could jeopardize:

  • Efforts to address the housing affordability crisis and fight homelessness.  While the Budget maintains rental assistance funding, its flat funding would reduce the number of available housing vouchers by 200,000 over the next year because of inflation and rising rents.
  • $3 billion (100%) cut to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG):  Eliminates a program that provides states and local governments the flexibility to determine funding priorities for neighborhood revitalization and community and economic development.
  • $1.1 billion (100%) cut to Affordable Housing and Homeownership Programs: The Budget eliminates these programs that develop affordable housing and encourage homeownership: HOME Investment Partnerships, Choice Neighborhoods, Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing

$9.6 billion (21%) cut to the Department of Labor could jeopardize:

  • Job training that benefit seniors by eliminating the Senior Community Service Employment
  • Job training for youth from disadvantaged backgrounds by cutting Job Corps Centers
  • Training and employment services for all workers by decreasing federal funding and shifting funding to states, localities, and employers
  • Disabled workers by eliminating technical assistant grants to help employers retain and hire workers with disabilities

$519 million (4.1%) in cuts to the Department of the Treasury

  • $239 million in cuts are to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) despite calls from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s to increase staff and modernize technology at the IRS, which would decrease call wait times for Virginians and ensure calls to the IRS are answered and Virginia taxpayers are served during tax filing season.

President Trump has also proposed eliminating these federal agencies that benefit and employ Virginians: Appalachian Regional Commission; Chemical Safety Board; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Corporation for National and Community Service; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

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