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Nurses: Proposed Budget Latest Attack on the Public Protections and the Most Vulnerable People

National Nurses United Press Release, 3/16/17

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National Nurses United today sharply criticized President Trump’s proposed federal budget as a broad attack on public protections that also targets some of the nation’s most vulnerable people while shifting resources to the least needed areas.

“Slashing programs like Meals on Wheels, which brings food to some of our nation’s most vulnerable people, and heating assistance for low income people reflect a cruel and mean spirited thematic in Washington, evident also in the proposed health plan that cuts coverage for 24 million while giving a massive tax break to the rich,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross.

Ross said nurses will urge legislators “to oppose cuts to safety net programs, that should reflect the fundamental priority of a humane society, and action on the climate crisis. All while shifting tens of billions of dollars for an unneeded military building when the U.S. already outspends the next seven countries that spend the most on armaments combined, and spending on the inflammatory and unwarranted wall on the Mexico border.”

In particular, NNU opposes the following cuts:

  • Elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program including grants for Meals on Wheels programs that provide food assistance for impoverished seniors, the disabled, veterans and others unable to leave their homes.

  • $4.2 billion in grants to communities to assist poor people, including the decades-old Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps low-income Americans with their heating bills.

  • Significant health care cuts, including cuts in National Institute for Health programs promoting global health and cooperation with other nations on global health needs such as fighting pandemics and poverty related health crises.

  • Huge reductions in environmental protections, such as funding for the Superfund cleanup program and the Office of Enforcement and Compliance, grants that help states and cities fight air pollution, clean up efforts in the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes, and environmental infrastructure assistance for Alaskan native villages and communities along the Mexican border.

  • Devastating cuts that undermine efforts to mitigate the climate crisis, including the elimination of funding for international climate change programs and coastal research programs to help communities in the face of rising seas and worsening storms accelerated by climate change.

  • $400 million in training programs for nurses and other health professionals.

  • Department of Labor cuts including eliminating the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps low-income seniors find work, job-training program for disadvantaged youth, and grants that help nonprofit groups and public agencies pay for safety and health training.

  • Major reductions in federal support for public education, including grants for teacher training, after-school and summer programs, aid programs to first-generation and low-income students and federal work-study aid to college students – while shifting taxpayer funding to private and religious schools.

  • Expanded funding for a Veterans Affairs program that undermines the public VA by encouraging veterans to see private providers.

  • Elimination of funding for new transit projects and long distance Amtrak trains, which also harms efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.

  • Unwarranted elimination of programs that add little to federal spending, including the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities, the Institute of Peace, the Chemical Safety Board and the Corp. for Public Broadcasting.

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