The Trump administration’s proposed budget, introduced Tuesday, was thoroughly denounced by members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation.

Sen. Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, labeled it “dead on arrival.” 

“President Trump’s budget proposal is not just radical, it’s cruel,” Schatz said in a press release. “But make no mistake — this budget is dead on arrival. When the administration tried to cut these programs for this fiscal year, we didn’t let it happen. This time is no different.”

The Trump proposal, according to Schatz’s office, would cut more than $1 trillion from programs “critical to families in Hawaii and across the country.” They include the Native Hawaiian Education Act Program, Planned Parenthood and the National Park Service.

Rainy and windy morning at the White House Washington DC 2017 Trump. 23 jan 2017
The White House under cloudy skies. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard warned that the Trump plan “puts the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our country at risk with massive cuts to government programs that spur economic growth and provide critical services.”

Gabbard identified some of the same worrisome cuts as Schatz did. They include these:

  • $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid that serves over 348,000 people in Hawaii;
  • $191 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that serves over 170,000 people in Hawaii; and
  • $72 billion in cuts to the Social Security’s disability program, which serves over 19,000 people locally.

The congresswoman also pointed to $40.4 billion in cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which she said assists “one in eight Hawaii keiki living in poverty.”

Rep. Gabbard speaking out against the budget on the House floor:

And Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said she had some of the same concerns as her Democratic colleagues.

President Trump clearly hasn’t listened to the people as his FY18 Budget is a reincarnation of his skinny budget, reflecting his complete disregard for the elderly, sick, disabled and working families,” Hanabusa said in a press release.

She also singled out other concerns:

  • decreasing the State Department budget by 28 percent and eliminating all funding for the East-West Center and Asia Foundation;  
  • cutting the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 30 percent, “loosening protections on the air we breathe, water we drink and the climate we leave for future generations”;
  • reducing Federal Emergency Management Agency grants to state and local governments by $767 million and eliminating the Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program; and 
  • ending funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which assists in funding the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio.

Sen. Mazie Hirono called Trump’s proposals “dangerous.” She noted that zero funding would go to things like the Essential Air Service program for air transportation to Kalaupapa and Kamuela. 

In a press release Hirono promised, “I will fight tooth and nail in opposition to these dangerous and devastating cuts to programs Hawaii families depend on every day.”

Even some GOP senators are bristling at the budget plans of the Republican president.

About the Author