Schumer Floor Remarks On The Trump Administration’s Budget Proposal

February 10, 2020

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer spoke today on the Senate floor in opposition to President Trump’s budget proposal, which can also be viewed here:

Today, President Trump unveiled his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021. For the third year in a row, the President’s budget puts a magnifying glass on the endemic, pervasive hypocrisy of this Administration. He says one thing in his State of the Union and does the opposite in his budget, but the budget is what he does, the State of the Union is just what he says.

 So, one week removed from his State of the Union address, President Trump’s budget double-crosses American workers and middle-class families he promised to help in that speech.

 Let’s take health care. Candidate Trump promised to protect the social safety net: programs like Medicare and Medicaid, unlike other Republicans.

 But once in office, President Trump has proposed cutting—cutting—Medicare and Medicaid every year he’s sent us a budget.

 Once again, the president proposed steep cuts to Medicaid as well as onerous new qualification requirements, policies that would take coverage away from millions. Medicaid affects poor people, but it affects a whole lot of middle-class people whose parents are in nursing homes and health care facilities. Dramatic cuts to Medicaid hurt large, large numbers of Americans—both poor and middle-class Americans. 

 On top of that, the budget proposes cutting funding for the Department of Health and Human Services by 9 percent. That’s the department in charge of the coronavirus! He’s cutting the budget. Then he’ll find, when something bad happens, he’ll blame somebody else. That’s his MO.

 The president stood in front of the nation and promised that his administration would protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. It was a lie when he said it, and his budget makes that very, very clear.

 If the President’s budget became a reality, hundreds of billions of dollars would be taken away from health care services, and tens of millions of Americans would see their coverage disappear, including millions with pre-existing conditions.

 There is one term that appears nowhere in the president’s budget: it’s called climate change. One of the greatest challenges of our time, the number one threat facing our planet, climate change, is not mentioned once among the hundreds of pages of the president’s budget. Except it does propose cutting the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 26%—more than a quarter.

 The Earth is on fire—Antarctica had a 64 degree record temperature this week—and what’s the president’s response? He douses the fire with the lighter fluid of weakened pollution regulations, and then proposes cutting the fire department. He cares about the oil companies. Lots of those big oil wildcatters, send ‘em tons of money. He doesn’t care about the future of this globe, and we’re leaving something awful to our children and grandchildren.

 Going further…in the President’s budget, hundreds of billions of dollars would be slashed from federal housing assistance, student loan forgiveness, and federal disability insurance. Nutrition assistance to hungry families, long on the President’s chopping block, would see another round of severe cuts. Food, food for children. They’re poor, take it away. Is that what this country stands for? Is that what our Judeo-Christian tradition stands for? Absolutely not, absolutely not.

 If you’re an American struggling with student loan debt or health problems, or housing costs, or hunger, the president’s budget says “you’re outta luck.” Meanwhile, if you’re a millionaire or billionaire or a corporation or a big oil wildcatter, the president’s budget says “you’re in luck.” When it comes to taxes, the president thinks the tax cuts should be extended for an additional ten years. So much for this deficit reduction that the Republican Party used to stand for. Now, it’s clear. A few years after the tax cut—two years after them—the deficit is increasing. It hasn’t produced that dramatic increase in revenues that everyone talked about. But, let’s do it for [another] ten years. No Republican should complain to Democrats about deficit reduction when we’re talking about things that matter to average, middle-class people—like Medicare and Medicaid—when the tax cuts are proposed for ten years.

 So, the budget reveals, once again, where President Trump’s priorities truly lie: not with the working Americans he touts in his speeches, but with the ultra-rich, the corporate elites he rewards with his policies. It cannot be discarded soon enough.

 And one more point. I said it the night of the President’s State of the Union: I said, “The truth serum will be his budget. Let’s see if the president, for once, is telling a little bit of the truth.” The budget shows: all the rhetoric is one way, and the actual budget is another. How long will the American people stand for this man’s hypocrisy? Blatant. Never seen it in a president, Democrat or Republican, before.