Thursday, March 16, 2017

Congressman Cleaver’s Statement on the Budget FY 2018

“President Trump’s FY18 budget contains significant cuts and changes to several departments that are simply put -- harmful. This budget hurts working families and makes low-income families and elderly citizens, most vulnerable.

I am especially troubled by the proposed cuts to Community Development Block Grants, (CDBG) which are vitally important to urban and rural areas. Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs are four cities entitled to CDBG grants. All of the rest of the cities, in the 5th District of Missouri, compete for funding from the state of Missouri allocation.

The President’s budget proposal;

·         Eliminates the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program. In 2016, the 5th District of Missouri had 4 grantees and received over $8.5 million and in 2015 received $8.7 million.

·         Eliminates the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which the KC area has received 2 grants worth over $2 million in 2016.

·         Choice Neighborhoods program (Eliminated) – KC received grants totaling over $30.25 million

·          Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program (Eliminated)

·         Eliminates the $35 million of funding for Section 4 Community Development and Affordable Housing

  • Cuts Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition assistance from $6.4 billion to $6.2 billion.

  • Eliminates the $500 million Water and Wastewater loan and grant program. The current Water and Wastewater loan and grant program struggles to help many rural communities update their facilities and keep their water bills from going up outrageously.  This program needs to be bolstered…not cut.

·         Unspecified staff reductions at USDA service center agencies around the country – which would almost certainly close many county USDA offices meaning local jobs lost and a distancing of the federal government from the population. 

  • Cuts $95 million from the Rural Business and Cooperative Service

  • Eliminates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Missouri received over $73 million in 2016 and so far in 2017 has received $65.3 million to help low-income families, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly living on fixed incomes afford to heat and power their homes.  Veterans also make up nearly 20 percent of all LIHEAP recipients. During the hottest and coldest months, energy bills can cost up to 30 percent of a low-income person’s monthly income. The program is continually oversubscribed, and there are about 1.3 million additional households across the country that have not received funding who are eligible for the program.  LIHEAP is an effective partnership between the federal government, states, and the private sector, and Congressman Cleaver has been a leader in supporting the program and pushing for greater funding for the last several years. 

  •  Eliminates the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), cutting out $4.2 billion

  • TIGER Grants Eliminated – this is a highly competitive program that is oversubscribed every year by both rural and urban communities.  Last year the program received 585 applications from around the country.  In 2010, KC received $50 million for new bus stops, sidewalks and other work in the metro area – including the Troost Bridge - and created 2,455 jobs throughout the region and transportation benefits totaling $710 million.  In 2013, the City of KC received a $20 million TIGER grant for the planning and development of the downtown streetcar.

·         President Trump’s proposal to cut education by $9 billion is extreme. Public schools will see a loss in qualified teachers and training. Students struggling for affordable college will see a $4 billion cut to Pell grants.

It is my hope that this budget be rejected by Members of Congress.”

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