Trump’s Cabinet Will Defend His Disastrous Budget Cuts

Trump’s budget is a complete disaster. With so many cuts that would hurt Americans across the country, here are just a few of the many cuts to the Departments of Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Commerce that Trump’s Cabinet secretaries have to try and defend as they testify before Congress.


Department of Education:


Trump’s budget cuts the Education Department’s budget by $3.6 billion and eliminates 29 of its programs.


Education Week: “President Donald Trump is seeking a roughly 5 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education's budget for fiscal 2019 in a proposal that also mirrors his spending plan from last year by seeking to eliminate a major teacher-focused grant and to expand school choice. Trump's proposed budget, released Monday, would provide the Education Department with $63.2 billion in discretionary aid, a $3.6 billion cut—or 5.3 percent— from current spending levels, for the budget year starting Oct. 1.”


Washington Post: “The budget cuts 29 programs at the Education Department, many of which are designed to help needy children — including after-school activities to keep kids off the street and a grant program for college students with ‘exceptional financial need.’ Trump’s plan also gets rid of a tuition initiative that makes college affordable for underprivileged D.C. residents, who don’t have access to strong in-state universities.”


Trump’s budget eliminates Title II teacher training funds and support for after school programs.


Education Week: “In order to achieve those proposed spending cuts, the president copied two major education cuts he proposed last year: the elimination of Title II teacher grants and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Those two cuts combined would come to about $3.1 billion from current levels. Overall, 39 discretionary programs would be cut, eliminated, or ‘streamlined.’”


Trump’s budget terminates the Preschool Development Grant program, which supports programs for children from low- and middle-income families.


Education Week: “And on the early childhood education front: The proposed budget would scrap the $250 million Preschool Development Grant program, which helps states develop or expand pre-school programs for four-year olds from low and moderate income families. The program is a huge priority for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.”


Trump’s budget eliminates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.


CNBC: “The proposal unveiled Monday would sharply curtail income-based loan repayment plans, scratch the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, embolden the government to go after students who don't pay their loans and cut funding for federal work study in half.”


Trump’s budget eliminates programs that help low-income students prepare for college. 


Education Week: “It would also ax the $73 million Promise Neighborhoods program, which helps districts pair academics with other services, such as health, and the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, a nearly $340 million program that helps get low-income and first generation students ready for college.”


Trump’s budget slashes funding for programs that help prevent violence in schools and provide support to students and teachers in the aftermath of school shootings.


Politico: “The budget request calls for a $25 million reduction in funds designated for national school safety activities, compared with 2017. President Donald Trump's budget would eliminate altogether a $400 million grant program that districts can use, for example, to prevent bullying or provide mental health assistance.”


Politico: “The Trump budget would eliminate ‘project prevention grants’ as part of its proposal that would cut $25 million in national school safety activities. Those grants have directed millions to school districts with pervasive violence to help pay for activities like counseling and conflict resolution.”


Department of Housing and Urban Development:


Trump’s budget slashes funding for HUD by $6.8 billion, or 14 percent.


Washington Post: “Trump's proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year includes a 14 percent cut to HUD, amounting to $6.8 billion below the agency’s current $48 billion spending.”


Trump’s budget eliminates community development block grants, which play a key role in disaster recovery and other local initiatives.


Washington Post: “Like last year, zeroes out community development block grants, which play a key role in disaster recovery, as well as grants to states and local governments to increase homeownership for the lowest-income Americans, and funding for neighborhood redevelopment.


Architectural Digest: “The Community Development Block Grant—one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD—which gives local governments discretionary funds for everything from the construction of homeless youth shelters to delivering groceries to the elderly, will also see its budget for FY 2019 slashed to zero because, according to the Trump administration, it has ‘failed to demonstrate effectiveness.’ This would leave states and local communities on their own to fund such projects.”


Trump’s budget cuts overall public housing funding by 48 percent, and eliminates a fund to rehabilitate and modernize public housing developments.


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Cut public housing funding by $3.1 billion, or 48 percent, compared to 2017, not counting losses due to inflation. Public housing already faces more than $26 billion in repair needs such as fixing leaky roofs or replacing outdated heating systems and electrical wiring. Rather than proposing a realistic strategy for preserving this critical source of affordable housing — which has been a federal obligation since the program was created in 1937 — the Administration simply directs states and localities to fill the gap.”


Washington Post: “The proposal would eliminate the entire fund for public housing capital repairs, a savings of nearly $2 billion a year. The cut comes at a time when public housing faces a $40 billion backlog of capital needs, said Diane Yentel, president and chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.”


Trump’s budget entirely eliminates two programs designed to aid affordable housing efforts.


Curbed: “The HOME Investment Partnerships Program, a block grant program designed to aid affordable housing efforts, is eliminated entirely, citing an ‘outdated’ allocation formula.”


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Eliminate the National Housing Trust Fund, which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac currently fund through fees and which provided $219 million in 2017 towards state and local efforts to develop affordable rental housing for those who struggle most to pay the rent and make ends meet.”


Trump’s budget cuts Section 8 federal housing vouchers by nearly $1 billion, which could affect more than 250,000 low-income families.


Washington Post: “Trump also proposed cutting a federal housing subsidy program, known as Section 8 vouchers, by nearly $1 billion, which Yentel said would affect more than 250,000 low-income families.”


Commerce Department:


Trump’s budget cuts the Commerce Department’s research and development funding by 26 percent.


Nextgov: “The Trump administration plans to cut funding for federal researchers by about 1 percent next year, but the proposed budget would force virtually every agency besides the Pentagon to drastically tighten its research purse strings … Total Commerce Department R&D funding came in at $1.3 billion, down 26 percent from 2018.”


Trump’s budget eliminates Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, which helps American manufacturers compete globally and promotes innovation at home.


Vox: “The budget calls for the Commerce Department to completely eliminate the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which, among other things, provides grants to help American manufacturers compete with global competitors … The agency focuses mostly on providing matching grants for local programs to boost business development in distressed areas. It has programs to promote business innovation in coal communities and in declining manufacturing areas. In other words, these are the kinds of places that turned out heavily for Trump in the 2016 election.”


Trump’s budget ends the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is the main source of federal funding for states trying to grow their manufacturing sectors.


Vox: “The administration also wants to do away with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which helps funds manufacturing innovation centers in every state and Puerto Rico … The Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which was launched in 1988 through the Department of Commerce, is the main source of federal funding for states that are trying to grow their manufacturing industry.”


Trump’s budget slashes funding to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate change research by 37 percent.


Miami Herald: “President Donald Trump wants to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the federal agency responsible for hurricane tracking and research. Trump's 2019 budget proposal was released Monday and it includes a 37 percent cut to NOAA climate research and a six percent cut to the National Weather Service compared to the 2017 budget that became law last year.”


Department of Energy:


Trump’s budget guts the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, while it boosts funding for fossil energy research and development.


Washington Post: “At the same time, the administration is asking for deep cuts elsewhere, especially in the agency’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, which studies advanced transportation and wind and solar energy. The budget requests $696 million for that program, a 66 percent cut from the 2017 budget. That number includes $120 million added back after the recent two-year budget accord.”


Reuters: “But the budget calls for the ‘termination’ of the loans programs and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, while maintaining the existing loan portfolio and making sure existing awards are completed. And it calls for a more than 19 percent boost to the fossil energy research and development office to $502 million for making advanced power systems based on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas more efficient.”


Trump’s budget sells off electric transmission assets of some longstanding federally-owned utilities, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority.


Washington Post: “The administration also is seeking to sell electric transmission assets of a handful of long-standing federally owned utilities, including the Bonneville Power Administration in Washington state, the Western Area Power Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority.”


Trump’s budget abolishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, an incubator for next-generation technology, as well as several loan programs.


Wall Street Journal: “Also included in the plan is a steep cut for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, down by more than half from the current budget. The office would lose $1.3 billion of its nearly $2 billion in funding, and the department would eliminate funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, an incubator for next-generation technology.”