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Louisiana leaders blast Trump budget proposal

2 months 3 days 6 hours ago Tuesday, May 23 2017 May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 1:31 PM May 23, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ, Associated Press

BATON ROUGE – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) called President Donald Trump’s budget proposal a “nonstarter.” He was joined by Rep. Cedric Richmond Tuesday morning blasting the proposal.

“Taking funding away from Louisiana’s coastline is a nonstarter,” Cassidy said. “Our state’s future depends on this funding to rebuild our coastline.”

Cassidy said there are deal breakers in the current budget, including failure to prioritize Louisiana’s eroding coast.

Trump has sent Congress a $4.1 trillion spending plan that proposes to eliminate the deficit in a decade while protecting Social Security and Medicare.

But to achieve balance, Trump is seeking sharp cuts in a variety of programs for the poor from Medicaid to food stamps and disability payments.

Administration officials say they want to tighten work requirements to get millions of people off government support programs and back into the labor force, saying that will help them achieve their ambitious goal of boosting economic growth on a sustained basis to 3 percent annual gains.

Richmond said the proposal was a “slap in the face to the entire state of Louisiana.” He added that the budget cuts $800 billion from Medicaid even though Trump promised during his campaign that he would protect it.

“This proposal is hard evidence that these promises were hollow,” Richmond said. “We cannot allow the President to continue to take advantage of our state.”

Governor John Bel Edwards is calling on the entire Louisiana delegation to oppose Trump's budget proposal. Edwards' office said the proposal significantly impacts the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which provides health care to 122,000 children in the state.

"This proposal would set us back decades," Edwards said. 

Click here to read the full statement from the Governor's Office.

 

Sen. Bill Cassidy's full statement:

“Taking funding away from Louisiana’s coastline is a nonstarter. Our state’s future depends on this funding to rebuild our coastline. However, this budget is a guideline; Congress must now hold hearings and do the necessary work to ensure the bill protects American taxpayers and families. There are deal breakers for me in the current budget. For one, this budget fails to prioritize restoring Louisiana’s eroding coasts. This is a national issue – restoring Louisiana’s coasts ensures our state can continue to produce energy needed by our entire nation. Any cuts to coastal restoration efforts or GOMESA are short-sighted. As the committee process moves forward, I will not only oppose cuts to the revenue sharing program but continue to work to expand it for the gulf coast.”

Rep. Cedric Richmond's statement: 

“On top of the callous healthcare bill that is being rammed through Congress on the backs of working people, this budget is a slap in the face to the entire state of Louisiana,” said Rep. Richmond. “The President makes his priorities clear and strips funding from programs that help working families get ahead. Our economy is strongest when investment is focused from the middle out, rather than the top down. Instead, the President’s proposal delivers the moon and stars to the wealthiest Americans while leaving the middle class without a parachute.

“It cuts $800 billion from Medicaid, even though President Trump promised several times throughout his campaign that he would protect it. It cuts the Children’s Health Insurance Program by almost 20%. It attacks farmers by eliminating commodity payments and making it impossible for many farmers to get crop insurance. It attacks families and workers struggling to put food on their tables by cutting food stamps by more than 25%. It cuts funding to programs for people who are disabled and can’t work rely on to survive, and funding for programs that help first-generation college students obtain the education they need to support themselves and their families.

“President Trump made a promise to working people in Louisiana that he would not leave us behind. He guaranteed that we could count on full support in our recovery, that we could depend on quality healthcare, and that working people would be put first. This proposal is hard evidence that these promises were hollow. We cannot allow the President to continue to take advantage of our state.

“These programs are not a luxury, they are vital to the health and security of our people. President Trump has shown us again that this is not a concern of his. Louisiana cannot afford this irresponsible budget proposal, and anyone who values the state and our unique needs cannot support it.”

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