Trump’s ‘Rigged’ Budget Would Endanger American Families and Communities

Statements From the Clean Budget Coalition

March 16, 2017

Contact: David Rosen, drosen@citizen.org, (202) 588-7742
Karilyn Gower, kgower@citizen.org, (202) 588-7779

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Clean Budget Coalition is blasting President Donald Trump’s skinny budget, unveiled today, which would slash critical public services and protections, endangering American workers, consumers, families and our environment. Republicans are proposing a budget rigged for billionaires and big corporations, the coalition maintains. Formed in 2015, the Clean Budget Coalition is an alliance of hundreds of public interest groups that have joined together to call on Congress and the White House to pass a clean budget with no ideological riders that funds and protects thriving families and communities.

Below are statements from coalition members:

“It’s bad enough that the president is proposing deep and painful funding cuts to the agencies that protect our health and safety, our workplaces and wallets, as well as our environment and our economy in his budget, but we also expect the GOP to attempt to attach harmful policy riders as giveaways to the wealthy special interests. Our system of safeguards is designed to prevent tragedies that can spell disaster for individuals, families, businesses and communities, and must not be attacked in the budget and appropriations processes.”
Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs, Public Citizen

“Since the president wants to increase funding for such things as border security, homeland security and veteran’s health, all of which are within the non-defense discretionary part of the budget, that will make cuts to biomedical research, education, environmental protection, workforce training, children’s programs and more that much worse. Funding for domestic programs is currently at an all-time low as a percentage of GDP, and further cuts will only damage if not destroy programs Americans rely on every day to improve their quality of life and well-being.”
Emily Holubowich, founding co-chair, NDD United

“It’s fitting for President Trump to release his budget in March, because this is simply madness. This budget would decimate the very foundation of what makes America great: our parks, public lands and historic leadership on conservation. Instead of investing in conservation programs that provide clean drinking water, protect public health and support a booming outdoor recreation economy, Trump is rigging the system to solely benefit oil executives and private developers at the expense of essential conservation programs that benefit all Americans.”
Cameron Witten, government relations and budget specialist, The Wilderness Society

“Trump’s budget will accomplish nothing besides making it easier for corporate polluters to boost their profits at the expense of our families and the places we love. Plans to gut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of the Interior clearly show that Trump’s billionaire budget is only helping Wall Street and corporate polluters, not our wildlife and natural legacy, our nearly $650 billion outdoor economy or the air our children breathe and the water they drink.”
Melinda Pierce, legislative director, Sierra Club

“Polluters won’t police themselves and water pollution doesn’t stop itself. President Trump’s billionaires’ budget makes huge cuts to the EPA that would strain its ability to enforce landmark laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act. This reckless budget would make it harder to stop polluters from destroying sources of drinking water and threaten EPA’s ability to identify water pollution threats, to set strong protections for our rivers, lakes, bays, streams and wetlands, and to enforce laws that protect public health.”
Bob Wendelgass, president and CEO, Clean Water Action

“Trump’s cuts in funding for key environmental laws would make it nearly impossible to protect human health and imperiled wildlife. By crippling crucial safeguards, Trump will help his corporate cronies reap windfall profits while the rest of us breathe dirtier air, drink more polluted water and watch endangered species vanish from our planet.”
Kieran Suckling, executive director, Center for Biological Diversity

“There is a national shortage of 7.4 million homes affordable and available to the lowest income people, and just one in four of the poorest seniors, people with disabilities, families with children and veterans get the housing assistance that they need. At a time when the housing crisis has reached historic heights and the lowest income people suffer the most severe impacts, proposals to slash HUD funding are unconscionable and unacceptable. These severe cuts put more than 200,000 families and seniors at immediate risk of evictions and homelessness and will starve local communities of the funding they need to build and repair affordable homes and revitalize distressed communities.”
Diane Yentel, president and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition

“The Republican budget threatens our health – it will block, weaken or repeal critical clean air and public health protections. Clean air is essential for all communities. Air pollution contributes to asthma attacks, hospitalizations, low birthweight and premature deaths. Congress must reject any budget that seeks to gut the programs that protect our health.”
Kathy Attar, toxics program manager, Physicians for Social Responsibility

“These budget cuts threaten the health of American families and put businesses and communities that rely on clean water and healthy rivers at risk. Rivers fuel our economy, enrich our communities and provide our drinking water. We need to take care of the rivers that take care of us. Every American should call their members of Congress and demand that the Trump budget be rejected.”
Bob Irvin, president, American Rivers

“Members of Congress owe it to their constituents to consider laws through fair procedures and open debate. Using budget riders to shove through policies that could never pass on their own is fundamentally undemocratic. Americans deserve better from our elected officials.”
Marissa Liebling, legislative director, Project Vote

“Birds and public lands are both immensely popular with the American people. The proposed budget cuts and development plans for public lands threaten to harm the one-third of bird species already in decline, and will make it more likely that more species will be in need of conservation.”
Steve Holmer, vice president of policy, American Bird Conservancy

“This budget proposal is yet another Trump administration attack on women and families. Because women still face significant workplace discrimination and are more likely than men to hold low-wage, low-benefit jobs while also doing the bulk of unpaid caregiving at home, policies that make food, child care and other necessities affordable are especially essential to women and their families. Cuts like these directly hurt women’s ability to thrive and contribute to the American economy.”
Anna Chu, vice president for income security and education, National Women’s Law Center

“President Trump’s budget paints a bleak picture for small business in America. Main Street small business owners rely on a basic level of safe infrastructure in order to thrive. This means safe roads and bridges to get to work, clean water and air, and regulatory protections for health and safety. But with this budget, Trump proposes gutting $54 billion in essential programs and reneging on his promise to invest in infrastructure and create jobs. A federal training program that serves more than 23 million employees could also be cut, weakening the skilled workforce small businesses need. At its core, Trump’s proposal starves the agencies that protect our economy, our environment and our health and safety.”
Amanda Ballantyne, national director, Main Street Alliance

“At the same time that the Trump administration and Congress are looking for new ways to pursue aggressive drilling on and offshore of Alaska, they also are slashing the funding that coastal and rural communities rely on to assist with the drastic effects of that development from pollution and our changing climate. Alaska Native villages are falling into the sea, coastal communities are reeling from the impacts of pollution and remote Arctic communities will be left without support from agencies in the tragic event of an oil spill or to address the ongoing realities of climate change. We’re calling on Congress and the White House to pass a clean budget that reflects the funding levels necessary for the safety and security of Americans from all walks of life.”
Kristen Miller, interim executive director, Alaska Wilderness League

“The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights strongly believes that ideological policy riders have no business being included in must-pass spending bills. Ideological policy riders come in all shapes and sizes, and have in recent years included attempts to undermine an accurate Census so that not everyone who should be included is counted, provisions that would roll back efforts to prevent housing discrimination and riders that would undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and hurt working families. If members of Congress want to adopt these kinds of ideological provisions, they should do so in the light of day, in full view of the public and with proper debate, rather than jamming them through as riders to spending bills.”
Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“The Trump budget sells out our nation’s lands and wildlife. It is a bitter irony that even as this budget starves wildlife conservation efforts in the name of fiscal frugality, it also proposes billions for an unnecessary border wall that will cause irreparable harm to people and wildlife. The Trump budget flies in the face of Americans’ strong commitment to protecting our wildlife heritage for future generations.”
Bob Dreher, senior vice president of conservation programs, Defenders of Wildlife

“Donald Trump is using his office to hand the reins of government over to corporate polluters. History has repeatedly shown that corporations cannot be trusted to protect public health. Yet the Trump administration has used its budget to assault the agencies tasked with protecting America’s public health.”
Ben Schreiber, senior political strategist, Friends of the Earth

“The president’s ‘skinny budget’ is a particularly apt description for a proposal that would leave crucial protector agencies too emaciated to safeguard our health, safety and environment. Whether it’s pipeline inspectors to protect our land and water from oil spills, or workplace safety inspectors to ensure our family members return home safely from their jobs, or environmental inspectors to prevent air pollution and toxic chemical disasters, many agencies simply don’t have sufficient resources to conduct the level of enforcement needed to safeguard all Americans. Slashing their budgets even further would be the height of irresponsibility, and Congress should reject Trump’s proposal and give agencies the resources they need to police corporate special interests that cannot be trusted to police themselves.”
Matthew Shudtz, executive director, Center for Progressive Reform

“Trump’s ‘skinny budget’ is lean for Americans, but fat for the oil, gas and coal industry. President Obama called for the elimination of taxpayer handouts to the fossil fuel industry in each of his eight presidential budgets. Trump’s budget shortchanges the American people while continuing to hand out billions of dollars of government subsidies to fossil fuel companies.”
Janet Redman, U.S. policy director, Oil Change International

“This budget is incredibly harmful. It harms children, seniors, people with disabilities and low-income people. It harms programs that protect the environment, respond to natural disasters, provide affordable housing, feed the hungry and contain epidemics. It calls into serious question the role of government – why it exists and whom it is supposed to serve.”
Deborah Weinstein, executive director, Coalition on Human Needs

“Wall Street never tires of trying to gut financial regulations through backroom deals. That’s because they know that most Americans – from all places and all parties – think we need to be tougher on Wall Street, not create more loopholes. No members of Congress should allow policy riders that will make it easier for predatory lenders to rip people off, or threaten another financial crisis. If Congress want to considering giveaways to Wall Street, the American people need to have the chance to weigh in.”
Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform

“Trump’s ‘polluters first’ budget is rigged against everyday people by slashing clean air and water protections that safeguard all communities from big oil. More mercury in our air and more lead in our water may help the bottom lines of corporate polluters, but they would cause enormous health problems for people all across this country, especially low income and communities of color. We will fight tooth and nail to protect all people in this country from dirty drinking water, unhealthy air, and an unsafe climate that would result from Trump’s proposals being enacted.”
Gene Karpinski, president, League of Conservation Voters

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