STATEMENT: On the Trump Administration's Proposed FY 2019 Federal Budget

"The best thing one can say about President Trump's FY 2019 budget, which was released today, is that it appears to be dead on arrival. The House and Senate has already agreed on the broad outlines of a spending plan that is far different from and, from our perspective, far better than the one proposed by the president.

"Nevertheless, we should take the budget proposal seriously because it tells us what the president, and presumably his followers, would do if left unconstrained by political opposition.

"The Trump budget again proposes to repeal the ACA and make deep cuts to traditional Medicaid in addition to rolling back the Medicaid expansion, while eliminating protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

"It calls for radical cuts to nutrition, housing and income assistance programs for millions of Americans at or below the poverty line. These are our fellow citizens who work for low wages, are elderly or disabled. The SNAP program (food stamps) would be cut by 30%. Four million low income people would lose SNAP benefits nationwide - about 150,000 of them in Pennsylvania. Housing assistance programs would be sharply cut, with rents for those with low incomes rising from 30% of income after accounting for child care and other costs to 35% of income before accounting for those cuts.

"The additional funding for non-defense discretionary programs (NDD), which was agreed to in the bi-partisan budget agreement, would be eliminated. This would reduce spending for education and training, scientific and medical research, transportation and infrastructure, child care and development, environmental protection, and national parks, among many other vital federal programs.

"Meanwhile, there would be sharp increases for defense spending.

"This is a budget that would increase poverty and create pain for millions of Americans while undermining our future well-being by reducing investment in education, environmental protection and by adding hundreds of billions to the national debt."