National Partnership for Women & Families

‘Punitive, Cruel’ Trump Budget Proposal Would ‘Shred Safety Net and Defund Planned Parenthood, Causing Deep, Lasting Harm’ to Women and Families

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — May 23, 2017 —

“Our highest priority as a nation should be to give all families a real chance at quality, affordable health care and real economic security. The budget the Trump administration released today seems designed to do exactly the opposite. It would help the rich get richer while leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. The administration’s punitive, cruel spending priorities would deny health care, food and other essential supports to struggling households with children, most of which are headed by women.

This budget abandons the traditional role of government, to support people who cannot care for themselves, and it undermines our values as a nation. It would shred the safety net, withholding supports that vulnerable women and families need.

For the first time in history, the Trump budget would bar Planned Parenthood from participating in any U.S. Department of Health and Human Services program. The Trump budget proposal’s defund provision is even worse than the disastrous Republican plan in Congress. In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood health centers from the Medicaid program, denying millions access to essential health care, these health centers would be excluded from a range of programs including Zika and cancer prevention and from Title X, the nation’s family planning program. That is an outrageous attack on women’s health.

Also alarming is the budget proposal’s premise that the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion will be repealed. We are appalled, as well, by its recommendations to cap and cut funding for Medicaid, resulting in a $610 billion cut to the program over 10 years, which would effectively deny health care to millions of people.

The Trump budget also proposes to strip billions of badly needed dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and to slash disability payments to individuals who are unable to work.

Whether they are applied to SNAP, TANF, Medicaid or other programs, harsh, inflexible work requirements harm vulnerable women and their families. And limiting benefits from essential programs to people who are authorized to work in the United States is truly despicable; it would effectively deny food, shelter and an economic lifeline to immigrants who face hard times, increasing hunger and homelessness in our communities.

We are not fooled by the paid family leave provision in the Trump budget proposal. It is a sham that would further strain already-fragile unemployment insurance programs while exacerbating state-based disparities, rather than setting an affordable, consistent national baseline. By covering only parents caring for new children, it would exclude approximately 75 percent of working people who need family or medical leave – people who need paid time to address their own serious health issues, working people who need time to care for seriously ill or injured family members, and military families struggling with a service member’s deployment or injury. America urgently needs the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act – not poorly designed, inadequate substitutes that would do little more than offer lip service without real relief and the potential to do more harm than good.

President Trump has absolutely no mandate to impose this agenda on our country. Every member of Congress must reject this mean-spirited budget proposal, which would have a devastating impact on the nation and would especially harm the country’s lowest income people and all those who fall on hard times – including tens of millions of women.”

Contact

Lauren Sogor (202) 986-2600 lsogor@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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