WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today issued the following statement on President Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint:

“This is a sorry excuse for a budget by any standard.  Even for a new Administration, this is short on details, and yet it still clearly manages to shortchange working families. 

“President Trump’s budget doesn’t put America first.  Instead, it would shift an increasing burden to states and leave all Americans, except the wealthiest and well-connected, worse off.  It is reckless and unrealistic.

“We need a focused budget strategy that meets real life needs and gives taxpayers a strong return on their investment.  But President Trump wants to slash clean air and water programs, gut consumer protection, cancel after school programs, and massively reduce life-saving medical research and scientific breakthroughs at places like NIH.  It would zero out LIHEAP heating assistance for vulnerable families and seniors, literally leaving people out in the cold.  The Trump budget drains critical resources from our communities, limiting opportunities across the board.  His ill-conceived cuts will lead to increased poverty and blight and halt economic progress and revitalization that benefits all citizens – all the while leaving cities, towns, and states with a crushing burden. 

“Several of the President’s priorities are completely contradictory to what his budget actually tries to do.  For instance, he wants to boost defense spending while shortchanging diplomacy and security assistance, which national security experts across the political spectrum have warned will make us less safe.  Additionally, the President claims to be pro-growth, but his budget would discontinue support for small businesses, manufacturing initiatives, and job training – costing Rhode Island millions of dollars and potentially thousands of jobs, and harming economic growth and job creation. 

“The President’s budget exposes the fact that this Administration has no concrete plan for economic growth, and his promise of a $1 trillion infrastructure initiative is nowhere to be found.  In fact, his budget blueprint for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing a 13% reduction in discretionary spending from the fiscal year 2016 enacted level.

“I support a strong defense and keeping America strong at home.  The President has not put forth a serious strategy or comprehensive plan to keep our nation safe, he is just increasing money for the military and cutting money for domestic priorities and hoping that makes him look strong.  It doesn’t.  It makes him seem ill-suited to the role of Commander-in-Chief.

“Congress should never enact a budget this harmful to the American people.  I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to set a more responsible course that takes a more balanced approach.”