He calls on the Governor & other elected leaders to push back against this spending plan.
Washington DC (KM). President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget is getting a cold reception from one Maryland Congressman. “This is a terrible, terrible budget for Maryland,” says Congressman John Delaney (D).
He says he’s especially concerned about the President’s proposed 19% cut in funding for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, which employ a lot of his constituents, and do very important research work. “It’s one of the most important things in our state. It’s important to the country. Their work product has been across time really of the highest quality and it’s led to innovation and breakthroughs that have changed people lives. And a massive driver of economic growth,” he says.
Delaney is also concerned about a proposals to cut the US Environmental Protection Agency by 31%. “That includes full elimination of the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup,” he says.
President Trump released his budget on Thursday which increases defense spending by removing funding from 18 other agencies, including the Department of State, a Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, the Community Development Block Grant Program which provides $3-billion for affordable housing projects, and calls for privatizing the FAA’s air traffic control system. There are also cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Delaney says other cuts would eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Essential Air Service program which supports rural airports, like the one in Hagerstown. There’s also a 21% cut to the Department of Agriculture, a 14% cut to the Department of Education and a 6% cut to the Department of Energy, and reductions to climate change and clean energy programs.
President Trump says his budget increases funding for the military by $54-billion, but Delaney disputes that figure. “He’s not putting as much money into the military as people think. He’s really only putting $18-billion more than what Obama spent on the military, not the $54-billion dollars they’re talked about,” he says.
Delaney says the military should get additional funding, but not at the expense of other programs.
He says he and other members of Congress will fight against these cuts. “I think we’ll be able to fight back a lot of this stuff, particularly things like NIH because people realize what a mistake that is,” says Delaney. “We’re going to fight the good fight. But I feel like there’s a lot of fighting that has to go make sure that doesn’t get unleashed on the state of Maryland.
Delaney is calling on Maryland’s elected leaders, particularly Governor Larry Hogan, to push back on this budget. “The Governor is a Republican. President Trump is a Republican. He should be our champion in making sure that the President doesn’t go through with his Maryland-destroying budget of his,” he says.
A number of Republicans in Congress have objected to large cuts in foreign aid and diplomacy.
By Kevin McManus