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Hawaii Senator: Trump Budget Proposal “Dead on Arrival”

May 23, 2017, 3:13 PM HST · Updated May 24, 1:50 PM
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US Senator Mazie Hirono (left); US Senator Brian Schatz (middle); US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (right).

US Senator Brian Schatz who serves as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, denounced President Donald Trump’s budget proposal and immediately labeled it “dead on arrival.”

He was among those from Hawaiʻi who spoke out against the budget and its potential impacts to Hawaiʻi.

Sen. Schatz said the Trump Administration’s plan would make severe cuts to critical programs that help struggling families get by “in order to fund tax breaks for the rich.”

“President Trump’s budget proposal is not just radical, it’s cruel. But make no mistake – this budget is dead on arrival. When the administration tried to cut these programs for this fiscal year, we didn’t let it happen. This time is no different,” said Senator Schatz. “I will fight as a member of the Appropriations Committee to protect the programs that make our local economy and our communities stronger.”

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today warned that the Trump Administration’s 2018 Budget Blueprint “puts the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our country at risk with massive cuts to government programs that spur economic growth and provide critical services.” The budget, Rep. Gabbard said, slashes $1.4 trillion from programs families in Hawaiʻi and across the country depend on.

In a speech on the House floor today, the congresswoman said:

“The president’s budget proposal put forward today will be damaging to the people in our communities and the places that we call home. It cuts Medicaid by over $600 billion, cuts the food stamp program by over 25%, affecting the most needy within our communities. It slashes infrastructure programs, eliminates TIGER grants, cuts student loan and financial aid programs, and includes catastrophic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. In my home state of Hawai’i, this budget zeros out federal funding for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant, the Native Hawaiian Loan Guarantee Program, and cuts Native Hawaiian Education programs by $33 million dollars, crippling the progress that’s been made for over 30 years to strengthen Native Hawaiian early education, literacy, gifted and talented education programs, higher education, vocational programs and more. I strongly oppose this budget, and look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass a budget that actually serves the people and our planet.

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The Trump proposal would cut more than $1 trillion from programs critical to families in Hawai‘i and across the country

Senator Mazie K. Hirono also condemned the President’s budget, and highlighted what she said would be a “devastating impact on Hawaiʻi families.”

“President Trump’s budget is dangerous for Hawaiʻi families,” said Senator Hirono. “It dismantles Medicaid, breaks his promise not to cut Social Security, eliminates Native Hawaiian programs, slashes food stamps and other support for working families, guts federal education programs, and defunds federal investments that create local jobs. I will fight tooth and nail in opposition to these dangerous and devastating cuts to programs Hawaiʻi families depend on every day.”

Senator Hirono highlighted potential impacts (listed below) of the budget to Hawaiʻi priorities:

Native Hawaiian Education Program: $0
The Native Hawaiian Education program funds throughout the state.

Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grants: $0
This program received $2 million in funding in Fiscal Year 2017.

University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program: $0
Since 1968, the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program has promoted better understanding, conservation, and use of coastal services.

East-West Center: $0

Essential Air Service: 50% cut
The Essential Air Service program supports air transportation to Kalaupapa and Kamuela.

Manufacturing Extension Partnership: $0
Last year, Innovate Hawaii received $500,000 from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Innovate Hawaiʻi used this funding to support 49 companies resulting in $17.3M in additional investments, $28.3M in increased company revenue, 565 saved jobs, and 72 new jobs.

Rural Water & Wastewater Loans and Grants: $0
The Hawaiʻi Rural Water Association relies on Rural Water & Wastewater Loans & Grants because small utilities are often not able to access other funding programs.

Weatherization Assistance & State Energy Program: $0
In Fiscal Year 2016, Hawaiʻi received $477,000 to assist Hawaiʻi families with improving energy-efficient technology in their homes.

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund Native American/Native Hawaiian Programs: $0
CDFIs are financial institutions that support community development, and include Bank of Hawaiʻi, a number of Hawaiʻi credit unions, and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Programs: $0
CDBG and HOME funds provide resources that each of Hawaiʻi’s counties uses to invest in community development and affordable housing projects.

Community Services Block Grant: $0
The CSBG program provides Hawaiʻi’s four Community Action Agencies with resources to provide a variety of services for low-income and working families, seniors, people with disabilities, and children.

Medicaid: $610 billion cut
Nearly 350,000 Hawaiʻi residents depend on Medicaid to access health care.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit: $40.4 billion in cuts
The credits assist one in eight Hawaiʻi keiki living in poverty

Federal Student Loans: $143 billion in cuts
This includes the elimination of federally subsidized loans and loan forgiveness programs that serve Hawaiʻi nurses, police officers, and teachers

Social Security’s disability program: $72 billion in cuts
The program serves over 19,000 people in Hawaiʻi

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $191 billion in cuts.
The program serves over 170,000 people in Hawaiʻi

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