“President Trump’s budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net.”
The Trump’s Budget makes unprecedented cuts to Medicaid and changes to the anti-poverty programs is especially alarming to advocates working to end homelessness and create affordable housing.
President Trump is expected, in his budget, to support House Republicans plan to cut Medicaid by over $800 billion in 10 years.
“Trump’s decision to include the Medicaid cuts is significant because it shows he is rejecting calls from a number of Senate Republicans not to reverse the expansion of Medicaid that President Barack Obama achieved as part of the Affordable Care Act.”
And this budget will make changes to entitlement programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Social Security Income (SSI).
“The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors. Many anti-poverty programs have elements that are run by both the states and federal government, and a federal order allowing states to stiffen work requirements “for able-bodied Americans” could have a broad impact in terms of limiting who can access anti-poverty payments — and for how long.”
On May 22, 2017, Diane Yentel, National Low Income Housing Coalition President & CEO, released the statement, “Trump’s Massive Cuts to Housing Must be Stopped.” Yentel writes “The proposed cuts would land a devastating blow to millions of low income people throughout the country, in a transparent effort to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and increase defense spending. Trump’s budget would slash HUD federal investments in affordable homes and community development by an astounding $7.7 billion.”
Yentel continues, “But the leaked HUD budget proposes cuts from a butcher’s axe rather than a surgeon’s knife. The budget belies Dr. Carson’s promises by proposing cuts that would directly harm millions of low income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and other vulnerable people who struggle to keep a roof over their heads.
If enacted, the budget would result in the most severe cuts to HUD since President Reagan dramatically slashed its funding in the early 1980s. Reagan’s deep spending cuts ushered in the modern phenomenon of homelessness with a dramatic increase in the number of people sleeping on the streets, in cars, and in shelters. Years after those shortsighted and devastating cuts, a major infusion of resources were needed for homeless shelters and services.”
On May 19, 2017, in anticipation of the release of President Trump’s first budget, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has previewed the budget. Its analysis includes a helpful Q & A around his budget.
“Trump’s forthcoming 2018 budget will likely propose policies that would significantly damage the well-being of tens of millions of low- and middle-income people, both now and in the future, while lavishing large and costly tax cuts on those at the top. Thus, at a time of intensely concentrated income and wealth, the budget would likely shift trillions of dollars of resources away from low- and middle-income people and toward the highest-income Americans, thereby increasing inequality, hampering mobility, and worsening poverty and hardship.
President Trump has already supported policies that would expanded Medicaid benefits. And “The President’s “skinny” budget, which the Administration released in March, proposes deep cuts to non-defense discretionary programs that fund such priorities as education, job training, basic research, infrastructure, and other investments that help boost productivity and the living standards of average Americans.” The proposed extremely devastating cuts to affordable housing programs will leave thousands and thousands of Americans homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“If, as news reports suggest, the budget includes sizable cuts to programs that provide basic food assistance, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for workers with disabilities and their families, income assistance to low-income people with disabilities (including children), and Medicaid beyond the cuts in the House bill, then the President’s “reverse Robin Hood” agenda will be even clearer.”
In her statement, Yentel concludes, “We have our work cut out for us. The threats to critical affordable housing programs that serve the lowest income households are immediate and severe. With the housing crisis having reached historic heights and with the lowest income people being hit hardest and suffering most, we will redouble our efforts – not only to protect, preserve, and defend critical housing programs, but to expand them.”