Trump budget slams Maine

Trump budget slams Maine

“President Trump’s budget shows just how empty and cynical his campaign promises actually were,” said Maine First-District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree in response to the release of the Trump administration’s federal budget, which would make more than $3.6 trillion in cuts to programs Mainers depend on, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, heating assistance and food stamps. At the same time it would give trillions in new tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations.

“President Trump has presented an infeasible plan that strips away foundational programs in order to build an unnecessary border wall and provide tax giveaways to millionaires, for which our grandkids will pay for decades to come. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will be asking his administration how on earth they can justify this egregious disregard for the realities of the American people,” said Pingree in a statement on Tuesday.

The budget proposal targets funding for Medicaid in particular, with more than $600 billion in new cuts and includes the more than $800 billion in cuts in the health care repeal bill passed by the House earlier this month. Those reductions are estimated to put health care at risk for 263,000 Mainers and threaten to shift more than $1 billion in costs to the state.

“Medicaid is critical to the health and well-being of Maine people, particular children, older Mainers and people with disabilities,” said Ann Woloson of Maine Equal Justice Partners in response to the announcement. “The Trump administration can pretend that this is about giving states more flexibility, but it’s really about taking insurance away from working families to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.”

Older Mainers, people with disabilities, children and people living in rural Maine stand to lose the most under these proposed budget. Nearly 50,000 low-income seniors in Maine receive health care through Medicaid as do 63,000 Mainers with disabilities.

As Pingree notes, the budget flies in the face of Trump’s promises during his campaign to refrain from cutting Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

Senator Angus King also took issue with the deep cuts and regressive tax breaks.

“Many of the reductions proposed in this budget – from the cuts to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to LIHEAP – will hammer thousands of people across Maine, including older, disabled, and lower-income people,” said Senator Angus King in a statement. “Hard working Maine people who pay taxes expect a government that works for them, but they are the ones who will suffer when the tax cuts proposed in this budget directly benefit those who need it least.”

Senator Susan Collins gave no comment on the contents of the budget proposal, calling it simply “the first step in the annual process of funding our government.”

Second-District Congressman Bruce Poliquin released a statement praising portions of the budget proposal. He made no mention of Medicaid but did express specific opposition to cuts to LIHEAP and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

White House official photo.


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