Today, President Trump released his detailed FY 2018 budget request, which is a follow up from his "skinny budget" published in March. While the President's request includes proposals that could benefit a number of families, it would be devastating for most low-income and working class parents and their children.
The President's budget request would severely harm millions of children and their families in a few ways:
It would slash the "Safety Net" and decimate anti-poverty programs
Under the President's plan, Medicaid, which provides health care coverage for low-income families, would be cut by more than $800 billion over 10 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if enacted into law, more than 10 million Americans would lose access to Medicaid. These cuts would closely mirror what's included in the House-passed "American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017," which includes an $880 billion reduction in Medicaid funding.
The White House's plan also proposes major changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the federal food stamp program that served roughly 44 million people in 2016. As a result of the "Great Recession," up to 47 million people relied on SNAP benefits in 2013. Under the President's proposal, states would be given more authority over this program, including changing the work requirements, and it would also be reduced by $192 billion over 10 years. School nutrition programs, as well as the Supplemental Security Income entitlement program (SSI) that provides assistance for disabled people, would have its funds significantly reduced as well.
These programs are critical to lifting children and their parents out of poverty, and if these proposals were enacted into law, more children would go without access to health insurance and experience hunger.
President Trump breaks his promise on child care
Both on the campaign trail and after being sworn-in as the 45th President of the United States, Trump told Americans that access to child care was one of his top domestic priorities. This budget not only falls short on meeting the child care need in this country, but it signals an abandonment of one of the President's core promises.
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) would be cut by $95 million in FY 2018, possibly putting several hundred thousand children at-risk of losing access to care next year alone. Child Care Aware® of America is requesting that Congress provide a $1.4 billion increase for CCDBG. In addition, the $30 million in new funding for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant would be overshadowed by the elimination of a mandatory maternal and mental health care program ($15 billion annually) as required under AHCA, which the President Trump endorsed.
The President's budget also proposes $40 billion in savings by tightening eligibility requirements under both the Child Care Tax and Earned Income Tax Credits.
Other "broken promises" on child care include:
- An $85 million cut for Head Start, which includes the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program;
- The elimination of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports afterschool activities including child care; and
- Ending the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program, which supports low-income parents receive a college education while providing child care services.
Child Care Aware® of America calls on Congress to reject President Trump's budget request for FY 2018, and encourages both the White House and congressional leaders to negotiate a deal that properly serves the neediest Americans, provides a robust investment in CCDBG, and leaves open the possibility of creating a paid family leave program.
One bright spot included in the President's budget request is the establishment of a state administered, six-week family leave program. Under this plan, states would be required to create paid leave programs for both parents and use unemployment insurance benefits to pay for them. In addition, states would be tasked with identifying program cuts, or tax hikes, to help cover long-term costs. In addition to paid family leave, the Trump budget request would provide a $30 million increase for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, and extend the Children's Health Insurance Program for two years.
The House Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education are scheduled to hold hearings on the FY 2018 request on Tuesday, May 24. You can watch the hearings here. In addition, the House will likely begin drafting their FY 2018 spending bills next month, with the Senate proceeding by July.
Want to do something about the new budget? Take action today and tell Congress the FY 2018 budget needs to support families and children!