MANCHIN STATEMENT ON THE PRESIDENT’S 2018 BUDGET PROPOSAL
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on the President’s 2018 budget proposal. As written, the proposal would cut funding from programs that West Virginians and the state’s economy rely on. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Manchin will carefully scrutinize the President’s budget to see how it will impact West Virginia.
“While the President’s proposed budget includes critical funding and many important policy changes, such as funding to fight the opioid epidemic in this country and infrastructure spending, it falls short of the big fix that this country needs,” Senator Manchin said. “The proposal, which cuts $274 billion in spending, will balance the budget in 10 years but at the cost of not helping our most vulnerable Americans and many West Virginians. My grandmother, Mama Kay, was always helping our neighbors and taught to us to help others. She was constantly taking in people who were down on their luck and gave them a hand up, not a hand out. That’s what we should be doing for our fellow citizens.
“In the coming weeks, a budget must be negotiated by first bringing all parties to the table, where we should focus on an open and honest discussion of the choices we must make as a nation. As I have done throughout my career, I am willing to work with anyone from any party to set our priorities, cut waste and redundancy, and rein in out-of-control spending. And, while no single Senator, Representative or even President can be expected to have all the answers, we as a nation just can’t afford months of political posturing that will delay the hard work the American people demand of us. I am hopeful that, when we come together, we will craft a budget proposal that reflects a true bipartisan agreement that puts commonsense priorities for Americans and West Virginians first.”
To read the full budget, click here. Below is a list of budget provisions that will affect West Virginia:
SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP)
- SNAP would be cut by $191 billion over 10 years.
- Over 357,000 West Virginians (or 1 in 5) rely on this program and 64% of those recipients include families with children.
- WIC budget authority is reduced from $6.35 billion to $5.15 billion in the President’s budget.
- 40,391 West Virginians use WIC (but about twice that are eligible).
- The budget proposes a small overall cut to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and relatively small cuts to each of the office’s critical programs.
- Drug-Free Communities Program is cut by $3 million ($92 million, down from $95 million this year).
- The High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program is cut by $6 million ($244 million, down from $250 million). There are 20 West Virginia Counties with HIDTA designations.
- Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Hancock, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monongalia, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, Wayne and Wyoming Counties have a HIDTA designation.
- The budget cuts substance abuse treatment grants for states by $73 million and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency by $400 million at a time when our nation is devastated by the opioid epidemic and states are struggling to find the resources to provide substance abuse treatment.
SOCIAL SECURITY & DISABILITIES
- The budget would tighten access to social security disability program counting $48 billion in savings from testing “new approaches to increase labor force participation.”
- Roughly 25% of West Virginians receive Social Security benefits.
- The budget would cut funding for disability insurance by $72 billion.
- Medicaid would be cut by $610 billion over 10 years — but when added to the rest of ACA repeal, total health care cuts would be $866 billion.
CHILDRENS HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM (CHIP)
- Cuts the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by 20% in 2018. That’s $5.8 billion over 10 years.
- In 2015, CHIP served 34,729 West Virginia children.
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES
- Cuts $21 billion from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
- The President’s budget cuts $9 billion from the Department of Education and shifts $1.4 billion from critical education programs to “school choice.”
- It completely eliminates the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which offers students a safe place afterschool to learn and thrive.
- McDowell County alone has gotten almost $400,000 from this program to provide afterschool programs to serve its poorest students.
LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP)
- Low-income heating assistance would go from $3.3 billion to zero.
- 90,627 households in West Virginia use LIHEAP.
MEALS ON WHEELS
- Completely eliminates the Meals on Wheels program.
- This program provides meals to more than 8,500 seniors in West Virginia every week. It serves 2.4 million seniors around the country each year.
APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COMMISSION (ARC)
- The ARC had a budget of around $146 million in 2017. In 2018 it is reduced to $27 million.
- Those funds went to projects such as regional development and planning programs, and grants aimed at helping small towns in depressed counties develop tourism, build rail links, expand airports, fund local health departments, erect city parks and amphitheaters, construct access roads, improve water system.
- In January, Marshall University received two grants, each over $1 million, to fund research programs in coal impacted counties.
- In January, the United Mine Workers of America received a $1.2 million grant to fund workforce retraining and job placement services in counties in southern WV and southwest PA.
- The budget also completely eliminates the Rural Economic Development program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture ($477 million).
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION (EDA)
- The program had a budget of $251 million in 2017. In 2018 it would be reduced to $30 million.
- Those funds are a main source of funding for West Virginia’s Regional Planning Councils, which assist local communities in developing community and economic development projects, preparing applications for funding, and providing technical assistance.
- Currently, the eleven regional councils are managing over 500 projects with a total value of $1.5 billion. Such as, the Coalfield Community Development Corporation, West Edge Factory Training Center rehabilitation in Huntington, WV and Air Transportation Park water distribution system construction, in Williamson, WV.
MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP (MEP)
- The program had a budget of $130 million in 2017. In 2018 it would be reduced to $6 million, before being zeroed out.
- West Virginia is home to 1,248 manufacturers — 85% supporting less than 50 employees.
- Over the past five years, through the WV MEP, West Virginia University has delivered 231 assistance projects to West Virginia manufacturers, resulting in $32 million in new sales; $153 million in retained sales; and have helped create or retain 1700 jobs.
- In September 2015, West Virginia University won a competitive $2.5 million MEP grant to continue administering the WV MEP program over the next five years.
- Eliminates federally subsidized student loans which pay students loans while they are in schools, saving $39 billion.
- Eliminates public service loan forgiveness program for nurses, teachers and police officers.
- The proposed budget would save $76 billion by creating a single student loan repayment plan based on income.
- The budget would reduce the cost of living adjustments for federal retirees and increasing government employee’s contributions to their own retirement fund saving $63 billion.
APPALACHIAN STORAGE HUB
- The President’s budget proposes eliminating the Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program.
- This program has a repayment rate of 97%.
- The tristate area of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania is primed for a hub because of cheap and abundant natural gas, access to natural gas liquids like ethane and propane, expanding infrastructure, and geologic storage opportunities that can be prepared to store these high value products.
LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND (LWCF)
- LWCF is cut by $120 million.
- LWCF funding has supported projects in some of the most treasured areas of West Virginia like the New River Gorge.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
- The President’s proposed budget is cut by 31% ($8.2 billion to $5.6 billion).
- West Virginia received over $30 million in EPA grants and funding in FY2016 for environmental protection programs protecting our clean air and clean water.
- Chesapeake Bay Program and Chesapeake Stewardship Grants received $73 million from the EPA in FY2017. In FY 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Program would be completed eliminated from the budget.
- These cuts would affect the Leaking Underground Storage Tank, the Lead Risk Reduction Program and categorical state grants including brownfields, toxic substances compliance and the Public Water System Supervision which is cut by $30 million. All of these programs help West Virginia comply with environmental standards and better protect our water and natural resources.
TRANSPORTATION – WEST VIRGINIA AIRPORTS
- Cuts to the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, a program that is aimed at providing commercial air service to rural airports, means cuts to flights at the Beckley, Clarksburg, Greenbrier, Morgantown, and Parkersburg airports.
- West Virginia usually receives $13 million/year from EAS funding.
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
- The budget proposal reduces funding for Fossil Energy R&D at the Department of Energy from over $630 million to $280 million.
- The budget proposes consolidating the National Energy Technology Lab’s three facilities in Morgantown, WV, Pittsburgh, PA and Albany, OR into one campus.
- The budget proposal cuts funds for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability to $123 million from over $200 million in FY2017.
- The budget proposal cuts funds for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy from over $2 billion to $636 million.
- The budget proposes a $54 billion increase in base discretionary defense spending in 2018, offset by an equal cut in nondefense discretionary spending.
- Over the 10-year budget window, the plan would increase base defense spending by $489 billion and cut nondefense discretionary by $1.6 trillion.
- Overall, the plan would reduce discretionary spending by $1.5 trillion over a decade.
- The savings include $593 billion from phasing down the use of the Overseas Contingency Operations funds, which are meant to be used for war funding but which have been routinely used to also supplement the base defense budget.
In January, Senator Manchin sent a letter to President Trump highlighting areas that need special attention including caring for our children and those in need, improving the economy and creating jobs, keeping our promise to seniors and veterans, prioritizing our national security and improving our infrastructure and energy independence. To read the full letter click here.