Trump budget ax would slash lots of fed spendng in TN

Dozens of programs that provide funding or services in Tennessee are targeted for elimination or drastic cuts under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, reports Michael Collins.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Delta Regional Authority all would be impacted by Trump’s spending plan, released early Thursday and dubbed “America’s First” budget by the White House.

Other programs that reach into the state yet would get no funding under Trump’s budget include Community Development Block Grants, which provide resources to cities for a variety of activities such as affordable housing and anti-poverty initiatives; the Meals on Wheels food-delivery program for the elderly; the Minority Business Development Agency, which works to help minority-owned businesses grow and stay competitive; and heating assistance for low-income residents.

“The list of important programs cut or eliminated is huge,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis. “President Trump’s budget will thrust America into social and cultural deterioration, a new Dark Ages.”


Rep. Diane Black, R-Gallatin and chairwoman of the House Budget Committee, suggested the proposal offers a blueprint for being better stewards of taxpayer dollars.

“I’m pleased that the administration is committed to reviewing how our agencies operate to better streamline programs and reduce overlap,” she said.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Maryville and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, noted that while the president can propose a budget, under the Constitution, it’s Congress that passes the spending bills. Alexander said his budget priorities include national laboratories, national parks and the National Institutes of Health – all of which are targeted under Trump’s budget.

Note: Alexander is also quoted by Time in an article on Trump’s proposed elimination of ARPA-E, a renewable energy project formally known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy, which was launched under President George W. Bush as part of a broader package to encourage American innovation.

Support for the measure across the aisle is not a relic of a quaint bipartisan past. Last year, Congress voted to increase ARPA-E’s funding by $30 million with the measure passing the Senate 70 to 26. “We are reducing other spending to increase this spending. This is called setting priorities,” said GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. “We should do more of this energy research.”

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