Say no to a Trump budget that harms Pennsylvanians

Years of questionable choices and irresponsible policy by Republicans at the state level have undermined Pennsylvania's economy, schools and communities

The federal budget Donald Trump has proposed would do severe damage not just to the Pennsylvania budget -- which is already facing a potential shortfall of several billion dollars by the end of the next fiscal year -- but the financial security, health and lives of hundreds of thousands of state residents.

Just one example: Trump's budget would eliminate federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which annually helps nearly 350,000 Pennsylvania households keep their home heated during the winter.

Pennsylvania could lose $185 million or more in heating assistance under the Trump proposal, an amount the state could not afford to make up in its already stressed budget.

The LIHEAP cuts are just the tip of the iceberg -- during the past several weeks state officials have learned other Trump cuts could:

  • jeopardize meal programs for senior citizens;

  • eliminate millions of dollars the state relies on to incarcerate undocumented foreign criminals;

  • cut Homeland Security funding for counties in Pennsylvania by nearly $10 million;

  • restrict federal funding that helps pay for senior centers, parks, sewer improvements and fire-fighting equipment;

  • discontinue a program that helps small- and medium-size manufacturers in Pennsylvania, leading to a loss of more than 10,000 jobs -- mostly in manufacturing and technology;

  • cut transportation services impacting statewide, regional and local commuters and businesses;

  • remove federal funding for regional airports and cut safety and security funding for Pennsylvania's three shipping ports;

  • endanger health and safety programs such as Lyme Disease education and prevention, rape prevention and healthy schools;

  • eliminate funding for nurse and health training programs;

  • cut or eliminate funding for early education, school lunch, work study and other services that support students of all ages and their families;

  • reduce by a third the number of inspectors available to keep Pennsylvania's 8,500 public water systems clean and safe and to monitor pollutants such as mercury and lead;

  • completely eliminate funding for radon testing -- Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the country;

  • cut $200 million from nutrition and healthcare services to women and infant children;

  • cut funding for businesses and cooperative services in rural Pennsylvania.

These specific examples are just a small portion of the cuts and misplaced priorities in the Trump budget that would devastate tens of thousands of families like yours, as well as communities and small- and medium-size businesses in Pennsylvania.

Years of questionable choices and irresponsible policy by Republicans at the state level have undermined Pennsylvania's economy, cost us jobs, shortchanged your children's schools, threatened community resources, and put the state budget deeply out of balance. Now we face a federal budget under Trump and congressional Republicans that could worsen that budget crisis exponentially.

Its' time for Pennsylvania's state and congressional lawmakers to fight for budgets that work for everyone and that help create good-paying jobs and financial security for you, better schools for your kids, thriving communities for you to live in, and a larger and stronger middle class. Trump's federal budget -- aimed only at helping big corporations and the wealthy -- does none of these things, and puts even more pressure on state legislators trying to balance the Pennsylvania budget.

Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans in Washington and Harrisburg need to say no.