Washington Post: Trump’s budget hits poor Americans the hardest

Washington Post, February 12, 2018: Trump’s budget hits poor Americans the hardest

President Trump proposed a budget Monday that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies while pushing legislation to institute broad work requirements for families receiving housing vouchers, expanding on moves by some states to require recipients of Medicaid and food stamps to work.

Trump’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year includes a 14 percent cut to HUD, amounting to $6.8 billion below the agency’s current $48 billion spending, an even deeper cut than his previous year’s proposal, which had been the most dramatic cut to HUD since President Ronald Reagan slashed the agency’s funding in the early 1980s.

Trump also proposed cutting a federal housing subsidy program, known as Section 8 vouchers, by nearly $1 billion, which would result in more than 250,000 low-income families losing their housing assistance. The cuts would come on top of the administration’s proposal to raise the rent for low-income families receiving public housing help.

The proposed HUD budget, like last year, would eliminate funding for community development block grants, which play a key role in disaster recovery, as well as grants to states and local governments to increase homeownership for the lowest-income Americans, and funding for neighborhood redevelopment. The Trump administration said it has proposed shutting down programs that are “duplicative or have failed to demonstrate effectiveness” and that state and local governments are better equipped to shoulder the responsibility for community and economic development.

Congress has final say over spending — but Monday’s budget proposal is seen as an important sign of Trump’s priorities.

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