The Trump Budget: Padding the Wallets of the Wealthy at Your Expense

By Amelia Collins, Policy Analyst, NCLR

Photo: peasap

Next Tuesday, the Trump administration is expected to release its full fiscal year 2018 (FY18) budget request, which will be a blueprint for funding levels for federal programs. Many of those programs, like nutrition assistance for families, affordable housing initiatives, early childhood education opportunities, and Medicaid and Social Security, help millions of Americans.

If the “skinny budget” Trump released in March is any indication, the full Trump budget will gut programs that provide basic living standards for millions of low-income Americans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, to increase defense spending, and to ramp up immigration enforcement by funding an unnecessary wall and a deportation force.

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Weekly Washington Outlook — February 8, 2016

U.S. Capitol 

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

On Tuesday, the House will vote on legislation under suspension of the rules:

  • R. 3016– Veterans Employment, Education, and Healthcare Improvement Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Brad Wenstrup / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 3106– Construction Reform Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 2360– Career-Ready Student Veterans Act (Sponsored by Rep. Mark Takano / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 3262– To provide for the conveyance of land of the Illiana Health Care System of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Danville, Illinois (Sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 4056– To Authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to convey to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs all right, title, and interest of the United States to the property known as “The Community Living Center” at the Lake Baldwin Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, Orlando, Florida, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Mica / Veterans’ Affairs)
  • R. 677– American Heroes COLA Act of 2015, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Ralph Abraham / Veterans’ Affairs)
  • R. 4437– To extend the deadline for the submittal of the final report required by the Commission on Care (Sponsored by Rep.Jeff Miller / Veterans’ Affairs)
  • R. 3234– VA Medical Center Recovery Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Martha Roby / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 2915– Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (Sponsored by Rep. Julia Brownley / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
  • R. 3036– 9/11 Memorial Act (Sponsored by Rep. Tom MacArthur / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 890– To correct the boundaries of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Unit P16 (Sponsored by Rep. Curt Clawson / Natural Resources Committee)
  • R. 3894– To amend title 10, United States Code, to require the prompt notification of State Child Protective Services by military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect (Sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / Armed Services Committee)

On Wednesday, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 3293– Scientific Research in the National Interest Act (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith / Science, Space, and Technology Committee)
  • R. 3442– Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Kenny Marchant / Ways and Means Committee)

 The balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 2017– Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers / Energy and Commerce Committee)

Senate:

On Monday, the Senate will consider the nomination of Rebecca Ebinger to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa.

On Tuesday and the balance of the week, the Senate will resume consideration of S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act, as well as additional economic sanctions for North Korea in response to the country’s latest long-range missile test.

White House:

On Monday, the president will host President Sergio Mattarella of Italy at the White House. During their meeting, the leaders will discuss shared efforts to counter ISIL and the global refugee crisis. They will also exchange views on economic developments in Europe and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

On Tuesday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

On Wednesday, nine years after he announced his candidacy for president, the president will return to the place where his political career began by traveling to Springfield, Ill. In the evening, the president will travel to the San Jose, Calif. area.

On Thursday, President Obama will attend a DSCC event and a DNC event. Later in the day, the president will travel to the Los Angeles area to tape an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and attend DNC events.

On Friday, President Obama will travel to the Palm Springs, Calif. area. On Monday, February 15th and Tuesday, February 16th, the president will host a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif. to continue important conversations about the Asia-Pacific region. Following the conclusion of the summit, President Obama will return to Washington.

Also this Week:

Budget – The president will release his final budget on Tuesday. While Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan is not scheduled to testify, a number of Administration officials will appear on Capitol Hill with their requests. Among these, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will testify Thursday before the House Appropriations Committee’s Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Thursday. He will also appear before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell will make her budget request to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. In addition, Secretary Burwell will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will appear before the same Committee on Thursday.

Monetary Policy – Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee, as well as Thursday before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. She will answer questions about her semiannual monetary report to Congress.

Immigration – The House Judiciary Committee will convene Thursday to hear about the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The EB-5 program enables certain immigrants to obtain green cards, provided they meet standards for commercial investment within the United States. Elsewhere, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee holds a hearing previously postponed on Wednesday on Canada’s fast-track refugee plan and security implications for the United States

Financial Services – The House Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee has a hearing scheduled Thursday focusing on the “health” of the Federal Housing Administration. Additionally, on Thursday the House Financial Services Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing to discuss new potential regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), including those on payday loans.

Nutrition – The House will vote on legislation this week (H.R. 2017) that gives restaurants flexibility to comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations on the display of nutritional information.  The vote on this legislation comes as the House Education and Workforce Committee considers how to move forward with a child nutrition reauthorization.  The Senate has put forward a bipartisan reauthorization that is awaiting a floor vote.

Weekly Washington Outlook — March 9, 2015

Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons

Photo: Harris Walker, Creative Commons

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

House:

The House is in recess, returning the week of March 16.

Senate:

On Monday evening, the Senate will vote on a series of executive nominations.  Later in the week, the Majority Leader will bring up a bill related to human trafficking from Senator Cornyn (R-Texas).  It is possible the Senate could also confirm Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general this week.

White House:

On Monday, the president will deliver remarks at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC. In the afternoon, President Obama will host European Council President Donald Tusk at the White House. The President and President Tusk will discuss a range of issues, including the situation in Ukraine, Russia, economic growth, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), energy security, climate, and countering violent extremism and terrorism.

On Tuesday, the president will travel to Atlanta to deliver remarks at Georgia Tech. He will also attend a DNC event.

On Wednesday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

On Thursday, the president will travel to the Los Angeles area to attend a DNC event.

On Friday, President Obama will attend meetings at the White House.

Also this Week:

Immigration – After last week’s procedural vote on Senator Collins’ bill to block and defund the President’s immigration actions, it is unlikely the Senate will take another vote on this in the next few weeks.

Human Trafficking – This week, the Senate will vote on a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Cornyn (R-Texas), Wyden (D-Ore.), Kirk (R-Ill.), and Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the “Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.”  The measure was approved unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee and is designed to empower law enforcement to crack down on traffickers and provide additional restitution for victims.  Senate staff members believe it is unlikely that this bill will be amended on the Senate floor to include language related to unaccompanied children or the President’s immigration executive actions.

Budget – Next week is budget week!  When the House returns, Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) is scheduled to release his budget resolution on Tuesday, March 17.  Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) has scheduled a two-day mark-up on his version of a budget beginning Wednesday, March 18. The bipartisan budget agreement for the last two fiscal years negotiated by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senator Patti Murray (D-Wash.) will lapse at the end of this year.  The reconciliation process between the House and Senate budget, expected in the Spring, could include spending cuts long sought by Republicans. It is also likely anti-immigrant amendments related to tax, health, benefit, and other issues could come up in this process.

Debt Limit – The debt limit will once again technically be reached on Sunday, March 15.  Beginning on March 13, the Treasury is expected to use extraordinary measures to prevent default while Congressional Leadership determines how to raise or suspend the statutory limit.  Over the weekend, Majority Leader McConnell said he did not intend to risk a potential default over political brinksmanship.

Nominations – Majority Leader McConnell allegedly plans to bring Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general to the Senate floor as soon as this week.  He is seeking a time agreement to schedule debate and votes.  Last week, Senate Democrats sent a letter asking for swift confirmation and accusing Republicans of holding this up over the President’s executive actions on immigration.

Education – The Senate HELP Committee is continuing bipartisan negotiations to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (last reauthorized as No Child Left Behind).  After rumors an agreement had been reached last week on a core piece of the bill, the accountability system, it seems any announcement has been postponed until later this month or early April.  In the House, there is some speculation that the Student Success Act could be brought back to the floor next week.  This partisan reauthorization of the law had to be pulled from consideration at the end of February due to lack of support.

The President’s Budget Makes Critical Investments in Latino Families

Obama_SOTU3_resized

Photo: White House

The president’s proposed 2016 budget would in effect repeal sequestration while at the same time provide funding for critical programs that help middle- and low-income families. We support President Obama’s vision for the future and encourage Congress to pass a budget that targets communities that have yet to feel the benefits of the economic recovery.

In a statement today, Eric Rodriguez, NCLR vice president of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation called on Congress to find a way to work with the White House in passing a sensible budget.

“We hope that Congress can find common ground on key aspects of the president’s vision to invest in children, strengthen working families, and grow the economy,” said Rodriguez. “Latino families bore the much of the brunt of sequestration, making it clear that we cannot cut our way to a better future. Ensuring better returns on hard work and greater investment in educational opportunities for all students, regardless of background or family income, are critical to the success of Latino families and the country as a whole.”

Included in the president’s budget is $1 billion in additional funding for the Head Start program as well as $1 billion more for Title 1 to support low-income schools. President Obama also reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. The refundable portions of these credits are set to expire in 2017. Without action from Congress to make permanent the 2009 policies that targeted low-wage workers and larger families, 16 million Americans, including three million Latino kids, could be pushed even further into poverty.

“The president has provided a solid framework for Congress to work from,” said Rodriguez. “We implore our lawmakers to work together to pass a responsible budget that both grows our economy and invests in working families.”

Read our analysis of the president’s 2016 budget below.

Weekly Washington Outlook – March 24, 2014

White House at Night

What to Watch This Week:

Congress:

The House:

On Monday, the House will meet in the afternoon to name seven post offices.  Under suspension of the rules, the House will also vote on the Philippines Charitable Giving Assistance Act (H.R. 3771) and the Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act (H.R. 4275).  These measures would provide a charitable deduction for those contributing to typhoon relief before April 15 and provide a permanent exemption to coop and charity organizations with multiple employer pensions from a 2006 pension law that required more rigorous funding standards and would allow groups to opt out of the exemption, respectively.  On Tuesday, the House will consider the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America (H.R. 2824).  This bill would require the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement to implement a 2008 rule governing the disposal of mining waste near streams and waterways and bar the office from implementing any new rules without conducting a five-year assessment.  On Wednesday and Thursday, the House will take up the Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act (H.R. 1459), a bill aimed to limit the president’s authority to designate National Monuments under the Antiquities Act to one per state for each term.  It is possible that the House could also consider legislation relating to the so-called “doc fix” and a Ukrainian aid package combining Russian sanctions.

The Senate:

The Senate returns Monday and will consider S. 2124, the Ukraine Act, which is aimed at supporting the sovereignty and democracy in Ukraine, among other purposes.  The Senate on Monday and throughout the week will vote on several judicial nominations.  Following passage of S. 2124, the Senate will proceed to S. 2148, a bill to retroactively extend lapsed unemployment benefits.

White House:

On Monday, the president will arrive in The Netherlands. In the morning, he will tour the Rijksmuseum and hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rutte of The Netherlands. In the afternoon, President Obama will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China at the United States Ambassador’s residence before arriving at the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit.  In the evening, the President will attend a G-7 leaders meeting on Ukraine at Catshuis, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Afterwards, he will join His Majesty King Willem-Alexander for dinner at the Royal Palace.  On Tuesday, the president will visit the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit. Afterwards, Mr. Obama will hold a bilateral press conference with Prime Minister Rutte.  In the evening, he will participate in a bilateral meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, at the United States Ambassador’s residence, and a trilateral meeting with President Park Geun-Hye of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  President Obama will then meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Embassy to The Netherlands. The president will then travel to Brussels, Belgium where he will remain overnight.  On Wednesday, the president will visit Flanders Field Cemetery with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium and His Majesty King, Philippe. In the afternoon, he will participate in the EU-U.S. Summit at the Council of the European Union. Afterwards, President Obama will meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Belgium, EU, and NATO before meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. In the evening, he will deliver remarks at The Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) and then travel to Rome, Italy where he will remain overnight.  On Thursday, the president will visit the Vatican where he will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis followed by a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Afterwards, the Mr. Obama will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy at the Quirinal Palace. Later, the president will participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy at Villa Madama. In the evening, the president will tour the Colosseum and meet with employees and families of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Italy, The Holy See, and the UN Agencies in Rome.  Finally, on Friday, the president will travel from Rome to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi Arabia, the president will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  He will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear oral arguments on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.  Both cases address religious freedom and access to contraception under the Affordable Care Act.  Continue reading