Leahy Statement On President Trump’s 2018 Budget Outline

[WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017) – Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday released the following statement on President Trump’s 2018 Budget Outline. Leahy is also the Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department and Foreign Operations.]

The budget outline that President Trump intends to send to Congress is not a blueprint for success for a great nation.  Instead it is a hasty list of appallingly unbalanced, shortsighted, politically driven priorities.

He proposes increasing the defense budget by tens of billions of dollars and spending billions of dollars for the border wall that he earlier pledged would not come from the wallets of the American people. 

Building the wall and increasing defense spending so quickly and dramatically will be done at the expense of priorities that touch the lives of every middle and lower class working family, ranging from research to cure cancer, to investments in our schools and students, and at the expense of rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and public transit systems.  Beyond the other drastic cuts are short-sighted cuts to international assistance programs, which are cost-effective tools in keeping our country safe and defending our interests and values around the globe.

The congressional appropriations process is where our national priorities are translated into reality.  What President Trump is proposing does not reflect America’s needs and values, and it does not reflect Vermont’s needs and values.  This Vermonter will be doing all I can to remedy that as we begin to review these misplaced priorities and to chart a budget blueprint that addresses our nation’s needs, our nation’s challenges, and our nation’s opportunities.