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Trump to States and Localities: Pay For It Yourself

Feb 16, 2018

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The President’s 2019 budget puts the onus on cash-strapped states and localities to replace the billions of federal grant dollars it slashes. This comes on the heels of passage of the GOP tax scam, which made it harder for states and localities to raise revenues by limiting the state and local tax deduction. By cutting vital grant programs that states and localities cannot backfill, the budget puts Americans, particularly low-income Americans, at risk and threatens the economic vitality of our nation.

Trump Budget Cuts Vital Funding to States and Localities

Guts Medicaid and undermines health care — The budget cuts $1.4 trillion from Medicaid over ten years, jeopardizing care for seniors in nursing homes, children with disabilities, and people with mental and substance use disorders. This cut will force cash-strapped states to reduce services or drop people from coverage altogether. The ransacking of Medicaid goes hand in hand with the budget’s pursuit of a wildly unpopular Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and “replace” it with a package that will provide much less funding overall, leave millions of Americans without meaningful health insurance, and weaken key protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Undermines the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — The budget cuts $214 billion from SNAP, putting more than 44 million people – including 20 million children, 5 million seniors, and 4 million disabled adults – at risk of going hungry. In addition to cutting these vital funds to states, the Administration is proposing a new way to administer SNAP called “America’s Harvest Box.” For households receiving more than $90 per month in benefits, this proposal would reduce their benefits by at least half, replacing amounts currently added to an electronic debit card to use for food purchases with a box containing government-purchased canned goods and other nonperishable food items. The Administration claims this will be a more cost effective way of administering SNAP, but the budget leaves states to implement what will likely be a severely underfunded, logistical nightmare.        

Starves Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) — The budget cuts 10 percent from the TANF base program and $6 billion from the TANF contingency fund. These cuts further erode the purchasing power of TANF benefits and would prevent the government from ensuring struggling families can access the support they need to get by during future economic downturns. This will force states to backfill these deep funding cuts or leave families with children, who already have very little economic security, at risk of falling deeper into poverty. 

Shortchanges infrastructure — The budget touts a new $200 billion infrastructure proposal as a major initiative, which it claims will leverage eight times as much in total investment. However, a closer look reveals the budget provides little new federal investment for this plan. First, the budget cuts nearly as much or more from existing infrastructure programs as it calls for in new investments, including: a $122 billion cut in highway programs; elimination of the popular TIGER grant program that supports innovative transportation projects in states; and cuts to other areas such as public transit and commuter rail, Amtrak, essential air service, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Then, the infrastructure plan only works if there are significant investments from the same state and local governments being pressured to backfill all the other federal cutbacks. 

Eliminates the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) — The budget completely eliminates the SSBG program, making it difficult for working families to afford child care and leaving children and adults vulnerable to neglect, abuse, and exploitation. The need for these services are on the rise and relying on states to backfill the $17 billion cost is unrealistic.     

Discretionary grant programs eliminated or significantly cut — The budget proposes to either eliminate or significantly cut billions in discretionary state and local grants, further imposing undue pressure on state budgets across the country. These cuts (listed in the following table) harm workers, leave workers unprepared for 21st century jobs, increase poverty, erode the fabric of our neighborhoods, harm our environment, and make our country less safe.

Leaves workers unemployed or untrained and working in unsafe conditions


Health Workforce Programs

Eliminates 14 health profession training programs that provide funds to local institutions to improve the nation's health workforce.


Indian and Native American Program

Eliminates program that provides grants to help low-income and unemployed Native Americans, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians obtain skills necessary to compete in the economy.


Job Corps

Significantly reduces grants that provide training and educational services to approximately 50,000 disadvantaged youth at 125 primarily residential centers nationwide.


Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Training

Eliminates grants to 52 organizations that provide training, employment, and other services to migrant farmworkers.


Office of Disability Employment Policy

Significantly reduces funding for this office that provides grants to state workforce agencies to serve individuals with disabilities.


OSHA Training Grants

Eliminates grants to non-profit organizations to develop and conduct occupational safety and health training programs.


Senior Community Service Employment Program

Eliminates grants to states that provide part-time work experience in community service activities to unemployed low-income persons ages 55 and over to foster economic self-sufficiency and help low-income seniors find unsubsidized employment.


Leaves Americans less educated and unprepared for 21st century jobs


21st Century Community Learning Centers

Eliminates grants to communities to establish or expand centers that provide additional student learning opportunities through before-and-after-school programs, and summer school programs aimed at improving student academic outcomes.


Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants

Eliminates grants to states to improve literacy instruction through grade 12.


D.C. Tuition Assistance Grants

Eliminates payments to help D.C. residents afford college.


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

Eliminates need-based grant aid to eligible undergraduate students to reduce financial barriers to postsecondary education.


Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

Eliminates grants to states to support college preparation and awareness activities to ensure low-income students are prepared for and enroll in postsecondary education.


Heritage Partnership Program

Eliminates grants to states and local entities to commemorate, conserve, and promote areas that include important natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources.


Institute of Museum and Library Services

Significantly reduces grants to museums and libraries to train librarians and invest in digital resources.


National Endowment for the Arts

Eliminates federal support for the NEA that regularly partners with state arts agencies to increase arts learning, cultural heritage awareness, and access to the arts across the country.


National Endowment for the Humanities

Eliminates federal support for the NEH that regularly partners with state humanities councils, individuals, universities, libraries, museums, and schools to promote excellence in the humanities.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Grants and Education

Eliminates grants to state and local entities including the sea grant, national estuarine research reserve system, coastal zone management grants, and many other grants that educate the public on our environment.


Promise Neighborhoods

Eliminates grants that help distressed communities provide students and their families with a continuum of services and support in order to improve academic and developmental outcomes.


Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems

Eliminates grants to states to help design, develop, and implement statewide longitudinal data systems to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, disaggregate, and use individual student data.

  Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants Eliminates grants to school districts for activities that support well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students, and effective use of technology.
  Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants Eliminates grants to states that improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
  Teacher Grant Programs Eliminates four grant programs that increase the number of effective teachers in K-12 schools.

Increases homelessness and poverty and erodes the fabric of our neighborhoods and communities


Choice Neighborhoods

Eliminates grants to neighborhoods to improve distressed public and assisted housing.


Community Development Block Grant

Eliminates grants to 1,250 state and local grantees to support a wide range of community and economic development activities including housing rehabilitation, blight removal, infrastructure and public improvements, and public services.


Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

Significantly reduces grants, loans, and tax credits to expand the availability of credit, investment capital, and financial services for underserved people and communities.


Community Services Block Grant

Eliminates grants to approximately 1,000 nonprofit organizations, local governments, tribal organizations, and migrant and seasonal farm worker organizations that help alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities.


Corporation for National and Community Service

Significantly reduces grants to communities that provide service opportunities, promotes volunteering, and helps nonprofit organizations engage volunteers.


Economic Development Administration

Significantly reduces grants to communities in support of locally developed economic plans such as small-scale infrastructure project, community planning efforts, and environmental studies.


Grants to Native American Tribes and Alaska Native Villages

Significantly reduces grants to Native American Tribes and Alaska Native villages for affordable housing and related activities.


Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property

Eliminates compensation to school districts for lost property tax revenue due to the presence of Federal lands.


Legal Services Corporation

Significantly reduces grants to legal services providers to promote civil legal assistance to low-income persons.


Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Eliminates grants that help low-income families with home energy bills, energy crises, and weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs.


HOME Investment Partnerships Program

Eliminates grants to 600 states and localities that expand the supply of affordable housing for low-income households.


Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Eliminates grants that subsidize advisory and consulting services for small and medium-sized manufacturers through a network of state MEP centers.


Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation

Eliminates grants to local housing and community development organizations to help people live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen their communities.


Rental Assistance Programs

Significantly reduces grants that provide housing subsidies for about 4.7 million very low-income households.


Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program Account

Eliminates grants that help low-income homebuyers.


Harms our land and environment while failing to protect against climate change


Conservation Operations

Significantly reduces grants that provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to conserve, maintain, and improve environmental outcomes on their land.


EPA Categorical Grants

Significantly reduces grants to states that help meet federal environmental law requirements and standards.


Rural Business and Cooperative Service

Eliminates grants that increase economic opportunity and job growth in rural America.


Rural Water and Wastewater Grants

Eliminates grants that provide for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in rural areas.


Abandoned Mine Land Grants

Eliminate grants that help states and communities expedite cleanup and redevelopment of lands and waters affected by coal mining practices and thus promote economic development.


National Wildlife Refuge Fund

Eliminates funds that compensate communities for lost tax revenue from federal land acquisitions.


Makes our country less safe


COPS Hiring Program

Significantly reduces grants to states and local law enforcement agencies to hire or redeploy officers for community policing efforts.


Transportation Security Administration Law Enforcement Grants

Eliminates grants to states and local law enforcement jurisdictions to reimburse law enforcement activity at airports.