Nolan’s Statement on Trump’s Proposed Budget
U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan today responded to President Trump’s proposed budget:
“I’m gravely concerned by President Trump’s drastic proposed cuts to vital programs that Minnesotans value and depend on,” Nolan said. “The simple truth is these massive cuts to funding for environmental protection, education, transportation and housing is bad for our national economy and national security.”
Nolan also noted the vague nature of President Trump’s Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again: “The President’s budget does not provide the specificity necessary to justify the massive cuts he proposes in his budget.”
Nolan cited several specific concerns in the proposed budget:
- Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suffers a $5.8 billion cut, making it one of the hardest-hit research agencies. This funding level, adjusting for inflation, would set cancer and other vital health research back to levels last seen in Fiscal Year 1999.
- Funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is eliminated entirely. Nolan has led the charge in Congress to secure authorized funding through 2021 at $300 million per year.
- Funding for the Essential Air Service (EAS) is eliminated entirely. EAS provides more than $5 million annually to airports in Brainerd, Bemidji, Hibbing/Chisholm, and International Falls in northeastern Minnesota, and Thief River Falls in northwestern Minnesota. President Trump’s proposal claims that “several EAS-eligible communities are relatively close to major airports, and communities that have EAS could be served by other existing modes of transportation.” This slap in the face to rural residents demonstrates a severe lack of knowledge about our Nation’s rural communities. In Minnesota’s Eighth District, constituents rely on small airports to travel as they are 4 hours, or more, away from a major airport.
- Funding for the Coast Guard faces a $1.3 billion cut, severely damaging the Coast Guard’s ability to protect our borders. The Coast Guard's maritime safety work and ice breaking on the Great Lakes supports commerce, creating good-paying jobs in Minnesota.
- Funding for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program is eliminated. This program awards grants to projects that are generally eligible for funding under existing surface transportation formula programs. Nolan helped secure $10 million in TIGER grant funding for the new Intermodal project at the Port of Duluth, which will allow for more commerce to travel in and out of the port of Duluth, creating good-paying jobs across the region.
- Funding for the USDA water and waste-disposal loan and grant program is eliminated. This program helps with water and waste infrastructure in rural areas.
- Funding for the National Forest System is significantly reduced.
- Funding for Community Development Block Grants is eliminated, which funds, among other things, Meals on Wheels – which, for many seniors, is the only nutritious meal, and the only visit, they get every day.
- Funding for federal student aid programs face significant cuts.
- Funding for Federal TRIO Programs is cut by 10%. These programs provide services to help low-income students attend and complete college.
- President Trump’s proposal undermines the strength of our public school system. by funneling hundreds of millions of dollars in public school funds to boost charter schools and private schools.