President Trump’s draconian budget recommendations for fiscal year 2018 took an axe to vital government assistance and environmental protection programs, reinforcing the belief that he only cares about big business, and not the people living in this country. In response, a coalition of concerned organizations has come together in a new campaign, called “Hands Off,” to address and denounce the destructive cuts in President Trump’s budget, specifically those which affect human health, education, housing and the environment. Its goal is to amplify stories of the real people and communities who depend on the various government programs that are at risk of being cut or weakened.
The campaign held its first rally just days after the budget was released at a press conference, spearheaded by Representative Barbara Lee, and attended by multiple members of Congress, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Congresswoman Lee, along with the other speakers, made it abundantly clear that they “reject this morally bankrupt budget,” and we at the League of Conservation Voters agree and will not stand for it.
Major federal environmental programs and protection agencies are weakened or entirely cut out of this budget proposal, most of which do not just protect the environment but human lives as well. Most notably, the EPA is cut by 31 percent under this budget. The agency is crucial to safeguarding our air and water from pollutants, which have been linked to health hazards, including cancer, lung disease and impacts to child development. The cuts to environmental agencies will compound with cuts to health and financial assistance programs to form a perfect storm of injustice for those who are not a part of the wealthy 1 percent President Trump’s policies are aimed to benefit.
However, the ‘Trumponomics’ behind the FY18 budget proposal seem to have missed a basic fact. As Congresswoman Jayapal made clear at the rally, “We are all better off when we are ALL better off.” This budget cannot be allowed to move forward. We need to make it clear to the administration and Congress that we want a budget that leaves no one behind and maintains environmental protections.