President Trump is stepping up his attack on the working poor and the middle class--and this time he’s taking aim at our kids. His latest mean-spirited proposal is one in a long list of reasons we must build our own wall this fall; a big beautiful blue wall in the U.S. House and Senate to protect families in the 8th District.
Faced with ballooning budget deficits in the wake of the $1.3 trillion tax cut that largely benefited the rich in America, President Trump has once again set his sights on programs for the poor.
In announcing plans to cut $15 billion in previously approved spending – about 0.4 percent of total government spending – Trump has targeted the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Let’s be clear. Republicans in Congress have once again targeted a bipartisan program that will hurt middle-class families and low-income children so conservative special interests can feel better about giving wealthy individuals and corporations huge tax breaks that have blown up the deficit. They intend to use a law to rescind the money already authorized, a law that hasn’t been used in almost 20 years.
CHIP was created and authorized to provide healthcare to low-income children. Several months ago, congress voted to extend the program for six more years. Now, the Trump administration wants to cut $7 billion from the insurance fund and contingency fund. Additional cuts will come from the Affordable Care Act, railroad unemployment programs, and other programs already approved.
Many of our Republican lawmakers road into office pledging to cut the deficit. The truth is, the Trump White House and the GOP-led Congress have greatly expanded the budget deficit since Trump was elected, leaving a deficit of $665 billion last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The deficit this year is projected to widen to $804 billion and then hit $981 billion in 2019. In 2020, the government will record deficits that exceed $1 trillion.
Some Republicans have complained that Congress is spending money like “drunken sailors” and have called for fiscal restraint while others within their party have largely shown an indifference to spending, even going so far as to approve more money for the Mexican border wall.
But, when it comes to food assistance programs for low-income Americans (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP) that provide economic benefits to communities and make up the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net, or health coverage for 8.9 million eligible children through CHIP, this administration and Congress are turning a blind eye.
I doubt our Republican opponent will challenge his party on these spending cuts even though he must recognize the importance of these programs to residents within our congressional district. When given an opportunity I’ll get him on the record so everyone knows what choices we face when it comes to selecting our next Member of Congress.