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McGovern: Trump Budget Heartless Attack on Hardworking Families

McGovern to Republicans: Life is different when you leave Country Club, Families working multiple jobs to put food on table deserve respect

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Washington, May 23, 2017 | comments
“Tax cuts for the wealthiest among us – at the expense of the public safety net – is cruel. It is cold-hearted. These are real people. They are our constituents. They are our neighbors and our friends. They deserve our respect."
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice in Congress in the push to strengthen anti-poverty programs, delivered a speech on the House floor today slamming President Trump’s budget as a cruel attack on America’s hardworking families just struggling to get ahead. Click here for Video of Today’s Speech.

“This budget makes the deepest cuts to federal programs that help the most vulnerable, the poorest of the poor. These are real people. They are our constituents. They are our neighbors and our friends.

“I have to wonder whether some Republicans have ever talked with anyone living in poverty. I would say to them – life is very different when you leave the country club. Life is very different for people struggling in poverty. They work hard, often at more than one job, to put food on the table for their kids, and to put a roof over their heads. They deserve our respect, not the disdain shown to them and to their families in this disgraceful budget.

“Poverty and hunger in rural areas is often as bad as – and sometimes even worse – than in cities. So I find it highly offensive that this budget slashes our safety net for the very people President Trump promised to protect – the very people who put President Trump in office.

Click here for Video of Today’s Speech

“Of those who can work, a majority of them work. But they earn so little that they are still stuck in poverty. Why aren’t we having a debate about increasing wages in this country? Why is the debate on how we make the lives of those in poverty even more miserable?

“Budgets are moral documents and this is the most heartless, reckless, and damaging plan I’ve ever seen. It is immoral. The President’s Budget Director talked about ‘compassion’ for taxpayers, and for Trump supporters.

“Feeding starving children; helping a mother or father get back on their feet after a job loss; cleaning up poisoned water; ensuring everyone has a chance at living a healthy life, regardless of how much money they have… that is compassion. Not turning our back on these people.

“Tax cuts for the wealthiest among us – at the expense of the public safety net – is cruel. It is cold-hearted. I’m sick of it. I assure you it is not compassionate. I hope my Republican colleagues will have the courage to stand up against this Administration and do what is right for the American people.”

Included in President Trump’s proposed budget are:
• $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid
• $193 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps feed nearly 44 million people-including kids—every year
• $143 billion from federal student loans, including the elimination of federally subsidized loans and loan forgiveness programs for nurses, police officers, and teachers
• $100 billion from the Highway Trust Fund
• $48 billion cut from Social Security’s disability program
• $40.4 billion in cuts to the Earned Income Tac Credit and Child Tax Credit
• $38 billion from Farm bill programs, including a cap on crop insurance premium subsidies
• 31.4 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
• 20.5 percent cut to the Department of Agriculture

Click here for Video of Today’s Speech.

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Speech as Delivered:

“Let me say a few words about the Trump Budget that was just released this morning.

“We’re still digging into the text and combing through the details, but from what we’ve seen already, it is devastating.

“Reports indicate that this budget makes the deepest cuts to federal programs that help the most vulnerable, the poorest of the poor. That’s nothing to be proud of.

“At a time when our crumbling infrastructure needs repair, our kids need access to affordable education, and our workers need training to move into high tech jobs, we simply cannot afford to turn our back on these critical investments that will move our country forward, but this budget plan does just that.

“Of all the rotten provisions tucked inside this document – and I could go on, and on, and on – I find the most troubling to be the radical assault on people living in poverty.

“It’s easy to sit in an office at OMB and concoct plans to throw people off of SNAP and out of Medicaid and kick them out of their housing. This plan does just that. By any reading, that’s what this plan does. We’re reading about a $274 billion cut to our safety net, on top of the over $800 billion cut to Medicaid included in the Trumpcare bill.

“These are real people. They are our constituents. They are our neighbors and our friends. Our kids go to school together.

“But given some of the proposals I’ve seen from this majority party, I have to wonder whether some of my colleagues might never have talked with anyone living in poverty. I would say to them – life is very different when you leave the country club. Life is very different for people struggling in poverty, it’s very hard.

“My Republican colleagues have made a habit out of belittling the working poor, instead of trying to understand their struggles. They work hard, often at more than one job, to put food on the table for their kids, and to put a roof over their heads. They are exhausted from work and from worry.

“We see them every day, serving tables, washing dishes, hauling away trash, cleaning offices, mowing lawns, stacking heavy loads, taking care of people’s children, comforting the sick. Theirs are the faces in the bus windows going home from work at 2:00 in the morning. Theirs are the faces arriving at work at 5:00 in the morning the next day. They deserve our respect, not the disdain shown to them and to their families in this disgraceful budget.

“And I’d like to remind my colleagues that poverty and hunger in rural areas is often as bad as – and sometimes even worse – than in cities. So I find it highly offensive that this budget slashes our safety net for the very people President Trump promised to protect – the very people who put President Trump in office.

“I heard some of the rationale for the budget from the White House – the people that are on SNAP ought to work. I want to make clear for the record here, that the majority of people on SNAP are children, are senior citizens, or people who are disabled. Of those who can work, a majority of them work. But they earn so little that they are still stuck in poverty. Why aren’t we having a debate about increasing wages in this country? Why is the debate on how we make the lives of those in poverty even more miserable?

“Budgets are moral documents and this is the most heartless, reckless, and damaging plan I’ve ever seen. It is immoral. The President’s Budget Director talked yesterday about ‘compassion’ for taxpayers, and for Trump supporters.

“Give me a break. I would tell Mr. Mulvaney, I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means. ‘Compassion.’ Feeding starving children; helping a father get back on his feet after a job loss; helping a mother get back on her feet after a job loss; cleaning up poisoned water; ensuring everyone has a chance at living a healthy life, regardless of how much money they have… that is compassion. Not turning our back on these people.

“Tax cuts for the wealthiest among us – at the expense of the public safety net – is cruel. It is cold-hearted. I’m sick of it. I assure you it is not compassionate.”

“I hope my Republican colleagues will have the courage to stand up against this Administration and do what is right for the American people.”

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