Pallone on Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget
Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today after the release of President Trump’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget:
“President Trump’s 2021 budget is an extreme and drastic step in the wrong direction. It continues the President’s ongoing assault on the health care of millions of seniors and hardworking American families, while also gutting environmental protection when we should be combating the climate crisis.
“The President’s vision for health care involves nearly a trillion dollars in funding cuts that will take away health care from working families struggling to make ends meet. Earlier this month, the Trump Administration unveiled an illegal scheme to block grant Medicaid and now they are doubling down with $920 billion in funding cuts to one of our most crucial safety net programs. This misguided budget also includes more than $500 billion in cuts to Medicare, putting health care for our seniors at risk.
“The proposal also continues the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act by cutting $100 billion in funding, which would raise health care costs for working families and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
“The Trump Administration is proposing nearly $4 billion in funding cuts for the National Institutes for Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are tasked with responding to the coronavirus epidemic.
“The budget also proposes stripping away the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of tobacco products during an unprecedented surge in youth smoking and vaping, in favor of a new, untested agency that would take years to get off the ground. I fear this would create yet another loophole in the Trump Administration’s response to the youth tobacco epidemic that would be exploited by Big Tobacco to get more young people hooked on their products.
“The President’s proposal would cripple key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs that protect Americans’ drinking water, clean up contaminated land and ensure the safe use of toxic substances. Proposing to slash EPA’s budget by a staggering 27 percent endangers both public health and safety.
“The budget proposal completely eliminates both the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program and the Chemical Safety Board, outrageous proposals that would expose Americans to severely heightened risk of chemical contamination and attack. It also slashes Superfund funding by $113 million – an astoundingly reckless suggestion for an EPA with the greatest backlog of cleanup sites in recent history.
“The Administration’s proposal for Department of Energy is just as bleak. It would gut measures and programs critical to combating the climate crisis, including reducing The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy budget by a shocking 75 percent. In keeping with that theme, today’s budget also proposes zeroing out a popular weatherization program that helps low-income families make efficiency and heating improvements to their homes.
“These are reckless proposals that should be opposed by Congress.”