Statement Of Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) On President Trump’s “Skinny Budget” Proposal

The Trump budget shows as much foresight as TrumpCare.  Like some of the President’s tweets, the Trump budget is a hasty list of appallingly unbalanced, shortsighted, politically driven priorities.

We cannot make America “Great Again” at the expense of middle class families and the most vulnerable among us, and you do not make America “stronger” by eliminating the very programs that make our nation more secure.  The President’s proposal would abandon months of bipartisan negotiations, and break from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, by redirecting even more money to the Pentagon by further slashing nondefense spending in FY 17.  This is not acceptable.

We are not a “great” nation if we abandon our shared desire to cure cancer, or bring an end to Alzheimer’s Disease, by slashing $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health.  You can’t just switch complex and promising medical research off, and then maybe on again later.  We are not a “great” nation if we eliminate heating assistance for the 6 million vulnerable households that receive LIHEAP, 21,000 of which are currently digging out from an historic snow storm in Vermont.

We are not a “strong” nation if we simply pour more money into the Pentagon, renege on commitments to international peacekeeping and security alliances, slash funding to respond to humanitarian crises, and cut our diplomatic presence around the world.    

This proposal is divorced from reality and packed with partisan campaign promises.  No business could run in this haphazard and shortsighted way.  This is not a budget proposal but a budget by tweet, and the blueprint for the Trump Leveraged Buyout of America.

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