Statement from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Trump Administration Budget Proposal

May 25, 2017

The Trump administration’s proposed budget confirms our worst fears. It goes well beyond the traditional budgets we have seen from conservative presidents; it is a mean-spirited, harmful fiscal plan that would impose lasting harm upon those who are the poorest and most vulnerable among us, not to mention damage public education, the environment, public health and the broader social safety network.

By proposing significant cuts to Medicaid – apart from those that would be implemented under the American Health Care Act passed by the House – the President’s budget would further erode the right of all Americans to get meaningful health care. His administration speaks of furthering local control, but his budget puts such programs as Community Development Block Grants and HOME funding on the chopping block, which will destroy the ability of local units of government to improve their infrastructure, provide social services and improve the availability of affordable housing.

But this budget – indeed, any budget – is more than merely dollars and cents. Those dollars and cents must fund programs and services that keep us safe, protect our natural resources, help educate our children, provide safe shelter, and support programs that address the food insecurity so many of our residents face daily. This budget hits such programs as SNAP, Meals on Wheels, after school programs, even Social Security disability.

Traditionally a President’s budget proposals are massively changed once they get to Congress. Our fervent hope and belief is that this cruel and heartless approach will not stand.