(House of Representatives - May 24, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 90 (Wednesday, May 24, 2017)]
[Pages H4555-H4561]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                        PRESIDENT TRUMP'S BUDGET

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2017, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Raskin) is recognized 
for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to be here this evening, and 
I am delighted to be hosting the Progressive Caucus Special Order hour. 
We have a number of Members who are going to join us to discuss the 
President's budget proposal, which appears to have been written at 
Trump Tower, primarily for the benefit of people spending the weekend 
at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Pocan), to 
kick off our analysis of the Trump budget.

                              {time}  1730

  Mr. POCAN. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity. I would like 
to thank the gentleman from Maryland.
  The Progressive Caucus has its own version of a budget which we have 
discussed on the floor of Congress previously that we will be glad to 
put exactly next to the budget that has been produced by this 
President, because our budget takes a completely different course than 
the budget that has been put forth by the Trump administration.
  We can tell you, now that we have seen the budget from the 
Republicans, it hits every fear that we thought was going to be in it. 
There are very few winners, and there are an awful lot of losers in the 
budget, and that is what we are going to try to show today, just who 
some of the winners are and who some of the losers are, just to give 
you a visual display of exactly what is in this Trump budget.
  So what people need to know is that this is a budget that is not for 
the average person across the country. In fact, the average person will 
be hurt in multiple ways by the cuts that are in this budget. There are 
very few in this country who are going to applaud this, but it is very 
few because this is a budget that only benefits a very few. And we, in 
the Progressive Caucus, are going to do everything we can to fight 
this, tooth and nail, to make sure this doesn't become law.
  Let me just show a few of the winners that we have on this. One of 
the winners are the wealthiest Americans. This is going to reduce 
trillions of dollars in taxes that are primarily paid by the wealthy. 
So clearly, the wealthy are going to do well.
  Another group that does well is Wall Street and Big corporations. 
This budget slashes regulations for Big banks that caused the great 
recession, and it defunds the agency that is charged with protecting 
  Another beneficiary is defense contractors--a $54 billion boost in 
defense spending at the expense of nearly every other program. That 
will increase money that will purchase unnecessary new weapons.
  The border wall. This is going to put down a $1.6 billion downpayment 
to build a wall across the Mexican border, something that truly is not 
necessary and not asked for.
  And finally, the last beneficiary is polluters. This is going to roll 
back environmental regulations that protect our air and water.
  So those are the winners on the Trump budget. But if you look on the 
other side of the equation, there are a whole lot more losers.
  Let's start right up here with our friend, Big Bird. PBS funding. The 
Trump budget would cut funding for children's shows like Sesame Street.
  Social Security. The Trump budget will get rid of the insurance to 
help people with disabilities.
  Meals on Wheels. You know, I have had the great fortune of doing 
Meals on Wheels delivery in Madison, Wisconsin, which is in my 
district. And not only is it often the only meal, the healthy meal that 
that person is getting delivered who often can't leave their homes, but 
it is also that daily check-in to make sure that person is all right.
  I just met with someone who works with Meals on Wheels, and they said 
that there is not a week that goes by that they don't find someone who 
has fallen in their home and needed that person to come by for help. 
Well, the Trump budget eliminates funding for programs like Meals on 
  The children's health insurance and Medicaid funding specifically for 
kids is cut. He cuts dental care for kids, cancer care for kids, access 
to inhalers, and access to vital medical devices for children.
  He cuts nursing home care. Families are going to be forced to pay 
more out-of-pocket for nursing home care.
  The school lunch program. Now, I understand, everyone may not love 
everything on their tray at lunch, but this is cutting funding for 
subsidized lunches, causing kids literally to go hungry in this 
  It has education cuts to school and literacy programs, to teacher 
training and class-size reduction. Over 20 programs are going to be 
cut. Even Special Olympics gets a cut in this budget.
  Today, we had Secretary DeVos at the Appropriations Subcommittee for

[[Page H4556]]

the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, 
and, unfortunately, she couldn't make a case for any of these cuts, 
which is truly disappointing, because they are going to add hundreds of 
millions of dollars to give money to people who have children attending 
private schools, but we are going to be slashing the very programs that 
make our public schools so strong.
  They slash programs for the Department of labor for job training.
  There is a $6 billion-plus cut to the National Institutes of Health 
that works on lifesaving research for diseases like Alzheimer's and ALS 
and diabetes. And it cuts another billion for cancer research, 
specifically, in this budget.
  Loan repayment programs. This is going to end the loan repayment 
programs for police officers, nurses, and teachers who work in a public 
  This has massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency that 
protect our air and water, and it guts general funding that provides 
that clean air and water programs that are going to affect people 
across the country.
  It cuts funding to prevent major outbreaks for diseases like Ebola 
and Zika by cutting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
program budget.
  Opioid addiction, something that this Congress has, in a bipartisan 
way, found ways to find additional funding for; in this proposal by the 
Trump administration, it leaves families that are dealing with 
addiction on the hook for the cost of treatment in many cases.
  Border funding. It is not just that they are building a wall, but 
this also ramps up funding for deportation task forces which are going 
to tear families apart in this country; and it adds money to build 
more detention centers.

  This budget will allow the government to sell off swaths of public 
land that is going to open up our national parks and public land to oil 
and gas development, including fracking operations.
  And this budget, when it comes to women's healthcare, will go after 
protections in funding for women's healthcare by cutting Planned 
  Finally, for veterans, it makes it harder for veterans and low-income 
families of veterans to find housing.
  That is just some of the losers, but we want to show the difference 
in the balance of the very few who benefit and the whole lot of 
people--and there is a whole lot of other areas that are going to be 
cut by this budget.
  Now, the contrast really is the Progressive Caucus budget that we put 
forward that we will have a vote on, on this floor of Congress, where 
we do a completely different approach. Gone are the winners and losers 
of this case. And the winners would be a big category, being the 
American people, and the losers really being those, I think, who have 
abused the system for all too long.
  We have a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure that puts money 
into our roads and bridges, our schools, our waterworks, our broadband, 
and really makes sure that those are family-supporting jobs that people 
can get back to work and will create millions of new jobs, according to 
the Economic Policy Institute.
  We make sure that we move forward in affordable healthcare by making 
it so we can negotiate for prescription drug prices and bring those 
costs down, as well as allow States to get closer to a single-payer 
  We specifically have comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes 
those who are aspiring Americans, not by building walls and more 
detention centers but really providing a path to citizenship so that we 
can find a way to still protect our borders, but also make sure that we 
have got a path for people who have lived here for so very long.
  We close corporate tax loopholes and make sure that working families 
are getting the stronger benefit.
  We have an investment to make sure that we can have universal child 
care for all families in this country, not like the proposal that 
President Trump has put forward that takes care of, quite honestly, 
President Trump and people like him and the wealthiest in this country, 
but making sure that every family will never pay more than 10 percent 
of their income to have child care for their family. And on and on and 
on is what our contrast is.
  So as someone who has been very active in the Progressive Caucus, 
someone who comes from America's heartland in Wisconsin, we wanted to 
show the winners and the losers but, more importantly, to show the 
different path forward the Progressive Caucus is going to put for a 
vote on the floor of Congress. And I think if you get a chance to 
compare and contrast these budgets, you can see there is an 
  We don't have to slash funding for all sorts of programs just to get 
$54 billion of new spending for defense. We can actually invest in 
America, invest in healthcare, invest in our schools, make sure that 
college is affordable, all the things that we offer in our contrast 
budget. It is the only budget that is out there right now, so we would 
love to be able to show that contrast.
  But we ask people to take a look at this, and then you decide what is 
best for your family. I think you are going to decide the Progressive 
Caucus puts a positive path forward that will make your family prosper 
and won't just support a very few in this country.
  I thank the gentleman from Maryland. I appreciate this opportunity to 
have this time.
  Mr. RASKIN. Thank you so much, Congressman Pocan from Wisconsin, a 
distinguished leader in the House of Representatives, and the new co-
chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
  Mr. Speaker, a budget, as we like to say, is not just a bunch of 
numbers, but it is an ethical document. It is a reflection of our 
values, and it is a plan of action for investment of our energy and our 
resources into the future.
  The Progressive Caucus has drafted The People's Budget based on the 
actual needs of American society. So we have looked out, and we have 
seen that the great American infrastructure is ailing; it is crumbling. 
The bridges are falling down. The roads and the highways need repair. 
The transit systems are under tremendous stress, including the Metro 
system here in the Maryland, Washington, Virginia area.
  The cybersecurity system is compromised. Our airports, our port 
structure, our water systems, like in Flint, Michigan, need desperate 
intervention and rescue and help. We propose a $1 trillion plan of 
investment in the American infrastructure to create millions of jobs, 
putting people to work on restoring the strength and the vitality of 
America's basic institutions, the infrastructure that supports a strong 
and flourishing economy.
  So that is the heart of it. But we are also working to defend the 
gains we have made in healthcare, to extend healthcare so that all 
Americans are included in our health insurance system so we can squeeze 
out the bureaucratic bloat and the money that is wasted on insurance 
bureaucracy and red tape.
  We are also working for investment in quality child care so working 
families are not spending 30 or 40 or 50 percent of their family 
budgets on trying to just pay for babysitters and piece together a 
  America is the wealthiest society on Earth, and this is the 
wealthiest moment in our history. We can provide healthcare for 
everyone. We can create a childcare system that works for working 
families in America. We can reinvest in American infrastructure.
  But right now, there is no leadership, and there is no vision. We are 
so disappointed that the White House did not come forward with a plan, 
a bipartisan plan, to try to reinvest in American infrastructure, 
which everybody says he or she supports so we could get behind that, 
but we don't see anything.

  Proverbs says that where there is no vision the people will perish, 
and so we have offered a vision. And instead, they have come with a 
plan that lacks all vision, lacks any plan for reinvesting in American 
infrastructure, lacks any investment in the vital services that people 
need and, on the contrary, works to dismantle healthcare services, 
Medicaid, education, community development grants, senior workforce, 
jobs training, you name it, the Peace Corps, National Endowment for the 
Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities; slashed $6 billion from 
NIH in order to undermine scientific research and medical progress on 
colon cancer and breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease and asthma and 
bipolar disorder.
  We have been making progress on all of these things, and, for some 

[[Page H4557]]

the Trump administration says they want to pull the plug on it and 
slash $6 billion from NIH and all of the institutions around the 
country that NIH supports.
  Well, we have invited Congressman Ro Khanna to be with us tonight. He 
is a leading expert on the economy and on the manufacturing sector, and 
we have asked him to talk about investment in infrastructure and 
manufacturing, what we need and what, instead, we have gotten from the 
Trump budget.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. Khanna).
  Mr. KHANNA. Thank you, Congressman Raskin, and thank you for your 
leadership with the Progressive Caucus and in articulating a positive 
vision of what the American people need with a budget.
  I want to address the issue of manufacturing because this President 
went around the country campaigning on bringing manufacturing jobs 
back. And there is a simple philosophical difference in what the 
Progressive Caucus believes and the President's budget. If you believe, 
as the Republicans do, that we need to cut taxes and have less 
spending, you would be for this President's budget.
  But if you believe, as we do, that the big issue facing this country 
is good-paying jobs and higher wages, you would be for the progressive 

                              {time}  1745

  Let me give you a concrete example. One of the programs that the 
President cuts in the name of less government and lower taxes is the 
Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Now, what does this do? What does 
the Manufacturing Extension Partnership do? It actually works with 
small- and medium-sized manufacturers across this country, many in the 
Rust Belt, to help them be competitive, to help them compete against 
currency manipulation, against unfair trade deals, to help them compete 
against lower cost labor.
  How does the program do this? It partners them with leading 
technology companies to say, look, if you are a small- or medium-sized 
manufacturer, maybe you should have cloud technology. Move your 
technology off the factory floor and use the cloud to be more cost-
competitive so that you can compete. Basically, the program helps to 
bring and keep manufacturing jobs in the United States.
  Now, here is the irony. You would think, oh, is this a liberal idea? 
Is this the idea of Democrat, or a liberal Democrat? The irony is this 
was Ronald Reagan's idea. It was actually a program instituted by 
President Reagan in 1988 to help American manufacturers compete for the 
21st century, and every administration has supported it.
  One would think this President who ran on bringing manufacturing jobs 
would say, okay, let's quadruple funding for the Manufacturing 
Extension Partnership. Instead, he zeroed it out, zeroed out the 
funding for manufacturing programs. The progressive budget says we want 
to increase our investment in manufacturing. We want to actually help 
the small- and medium-sized manufacturers create jobs in the United 
  I have one more concrete example before I hand it back over to my 
colleague, Mr. Raskin.
  The Appalachian Regional Commission invests in helping to create jobs 
across the parts of this country that most need that investment. I was 
down in Appalachia visiting Hal Rogers' district, a distinguished 
Republican who chaired the Appropriations Committee, and we saw the 
Appalachian Regional Commission's investment in helping coal miners' 
kids get jobs.
  This Republican budget, this administration zeros out the funding for 
the Appalachian Regional Commission. Instead, we ought to be increasing 
funding in programs that are going to help transition folks from the 
industrial to the digital economy.
  I think my colleague, Congressman Raskin, will explain that the 
Progressive budget is not just a moral document. It very much is, and 
it keeps our commitment to seniors and to those in need, but it is also 
a blueprint for job creation and good wages and for creating jobs in 
precisely the places that need them most.
  This is the big division in this Congress. Do you believe that the 
big issue is that we need more tax cuts for the investor class, that we 
need simply to cut government, or do you believe we need government to 
partner with local leaders, with businesses, to create jobs and better 
  If you believe the latter, I urge you to take a look at the 
Progressive budget and see our vision for job creation and higher 
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Congressman Khanna for that 
excellent discussion.
  You would think, with all of the domestic budget of the country being 
dismantled and slashed and reduced by the Trump administration that we 
would end up saving money, but they don't in any way at all because the 
money is just being shifted over to the Pentagon.
  So the proposal is to slash $56 billion from things like Meals on 
Wheels, NIH research into eating disorders and asthma and Alzheimer's 
disease and heart and lung disorders and breast cancer and colon 
cancer, and environmental cleanup like the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, 
which they want to zero out, and then to shift the money over to the 
Pentagon at a time when the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform received a report and had a hearing on a McKinsey report which 
showed that there was $125 billion in immediate savings available at 
the Pentagon in waste, fraud, abuse, and contractor overruns.
  So, at a moment when the Pentagon is drowning in money that they 
don't know what to do with and all of the beltway bandits are buzzing 
around in order to get their slice of the pie, President Trump decides 
it is a good moment to try to dismantle services for the elderly and to 
stop job training for young people, to stop job training in location 
for retired citizens, wipe out funding for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, 
and roll back or abolish preschool development grants to the States.
  The litany of attacks on the American people is really quite 
astounding, and I invite everybody just to go and read the specifics of 
this budget, which can be read as nothing more than an assault on the 
health and the well-being and the security of the American people.
  For example, the Department of Education budget proposes to cut $578 
billion in title I, part A to support services for disadvantaged 
students. It reduces IDEA funding by $113 million, seriously 
jeopardizing special education services for students with disabilities 
all across the country.
  It eliminates title II, part A, which provides Federal funding for 
teacher support and class size reduction. It eliminates or reduces more 
than 20 additional programs promoting literacy in our communities. It 
cuts Perkins Career and Technical Education funding by 15 percent. That 
is just on the education side.
  Department of Health and Human Services, it eliminates the Community 
Services Block Grant. It eliminates the Low Income Home Energy 
Assistance Program. It cuts the National Institute for Occupational 
Safety and Health by 40 percent. It reduces funding for Child Care and 
Development Block Grant programs by tens of millions of dollars. It 
reduces support for Federal job training for adults by 40 percent, job 
training for dislocated workers and youth.
  It ends the Senior Community Service Employment Program, an excellent 
program that has located work, meaningful work, for tens of thousands 
of older Americans. It closes Job Corps centers. It eliminates funding 
to counter the worst forms of child labor through the Bureau of 
International Labor Affairs. It eliminates $11 million in OSHA safety 
training grants for high hazard industries.

  You have got to read it to believe it, but the amazing thing is, 
despite pulling the plug on all of these essential domestic programs 
that have been proven to work, it doesn't save us any money because the 
money is just thrown at the Pentagon and is being saved to throw up the 
wealth ladder in the country, send it up the wealth ladder through tax 
cuts to the largest corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
  That is the name of the game. Everybody understands it, which is why 
this is the good news. At least we are hearing from both sides of the 
aisle that the President's budget written in gold

[[Page H4558]]

at Trump tower for the people at Mar-a-Lago is DOA, dead on arrival. 
Everybody is saying it, that there is no way that America could absorb 
the shock of letting this budget come anywhere near to reality.
  But the message that we get from President Trump and his 
administration is very simple: Let them eat emoluments. Let them eat 
emoluments. Now, of course, we don't get them; he gets them. But the 
American people are left empty-handed at the end of this.
  We don't get any meaningful investment in the infrastructure of the 
country. There is no jobs program that is in here. There is no attempt 
to guarantee the solvency and the strength and the resilience of the 
Social Security program. We have got that as part of our plan in The 
People's Budget for the Progressive Caucus.
  It is far from trying to stabilize and strengthen Medicare and 
Medicaid, those two great victories of the Great Society. There is an 
attempt to undermine and ravage Medicaid and Medicare, again, to send 
all of the wealth up the income ladder, all of the wealth to the people 
who need it the least in the country, pulling the plug on everybody 
  Well, our hope is that we are going to be able to organize people to 
stop it, but the tragedy here is that there are so many needs in 
America that need to be addressed. Working people have seen a major 
erosion in their living standards over the last several decades. 
Working people have lost pension security.
  Working people need to have retirement sources stabilized. We have 
got to use Social Security as a way to make sure that everybody can 
experience a decent and dignified retirement. Social Security is a 
great accomplishment, maybe the greatest antipoverty program ever 
created in the history of the Earth. It lifted millions of senior 
Americans out of poverty; and despite the opposition of the GOP at the 
time, now everybody concedes that Social Security was a brilliant idea 
with administrative bureaucratic overhead less than 1 percent, and it 
lifts millions of seniors to a state of at least a modicum of dignity 
in retirement. And there are millions of children who are on Social 
Security because of survivors benefits and disability benefits.
  So we need to strengthen the Social Security system. We need to 
reinvest in it, and we need to expand it, because it used to be that 
there were supposed to be three pillars for people's old age: one was 
Social Security, another was a defined pension, and another was 
personal savings.
  But the pensions from private employment are increasingly gone. They 
have been scattered to the winds. And people's personal savings have 
been eroded by the dramatic increase of economic inequality in the 
country and the erosion of the living standards of working people.
  Tens of millions of Americans are relying exclusively on Social 
Security now, so we have got to reinvest in Social Security and make 
sure it works, and we have got plans for doing that, too.
  But the point is that the real problems of the country have been 
ignored. There is no vision. There is no program. There is no policy 
for reinvesting in America coming from the Mar-a-Lago set, from this 
Cabinet of billionaires.
  We are not getting any of it. Instead, we get an almost laughable, 
comical, cartoon version of rightwing GOP economics, which proposes to 
slash everything and to uproot the basic programs that the American 
people rely on for a civilized society. We can do better than this.
  I see I have been joined by my very distinguished colleague who will 
pursue the discussion. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from 
Minnesota (Mr. Ellison).
  Mr. ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, I just want to say thank you to Congressman 
Raskin for holding down this Special Order. You do such an excellent 
job, you and Pramila Jayapal, and we are grateful for it.
  Mr. Speaker, here are just a few headlines from the budget that the 
Trump administration just released:
  ``Trump Budget Leaves Working Class Base Behind''; that is the 
Detroit Free Press.

  ``Meatloaf Again: Christie Meekly Accepts Trump's Medicaid Cuts''; 
that is the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
  ``Trump Budget Replicates Disastrous Kansas Approach. This Won't End 
Well''; that is the Kansas City Star, Mr. Speaker.
  ``No Help from Trump''; that is the Houston Chronicle.
  ``Trump Meets the Pope While His Budget Threatens the Least of Us''; 
that is The Sacramento Bee.
  ``The Harsh Budget Americans Voted for''; that is the Charlotte 
  ``Another Bad Budget from Trump Targets the Poor,'' The Washington 
  ``Trump's Assault on Working Voters''; that is the Baltimore Sun.
  ``Surprise, Surprise: Trump's Budget Punishes the Sick and the Poor 
While Rewarding the Wealthy''; that is the LA Times.
  ``A Slash-and-Burn Budget,'' New York Daily News.
  ``Budget Cuts Include U.S. Heart''; that is;
  The New York Times: ``A Budget That Promises Little But Pain.''
  Bloomberg View: ``Trump's Budget is a Waste of Everybody's Time.''
  Financial Times, no beacon of liberalism there, Mr. Speaker: 
``Trump's Implausible Plan for the U.S. Budget.''
  So whether you are talking about conservative instruments in the news 
or more liberal ones or more middle-of-the-road, it is really kind of 
amazing: Everyone seems to share one feeling about the Trump budget. We 
all hate it. It is bad. It is not a good thing, and there are plenty of 
reasons why people don't like it.
  And so I just want to add that the OMB is led by one of our former 
colleagues, Mick Mulvaney, and I think Mick is a nice guy. I can't tell 
people that I personally dislike Mick. He is nice to me. But that is 
not what this is about.

                              {time}  1800

  This is about how we are operating in our public lives. In our public 
lives and discharging our public responsibility, I have to quote the 
Director of the Office of Management and Budget. He says: Meals on 
Wheels sounds great. We're not going to spend money on programs that 
cannot show that they actually deliver on promises that we've made to 
  I will submit to you that Meals on Wheels is a very meritorious 
program, it costs very little money, and it allows vulnerable seniors 
and people with disabilities to live at home. Deep cuts.
  Actually, Mick said as well: Deep budget cuts are actually one of the 
most compassionate things we can do.
  I wonder, Mr. Speaker, compassionate for who?
  Maybe those billionaires at Mar-a-Lago--maybe they need a little 
love, too, sometimes--or the people who occupy Trump Towers.
  Regarding HUD, or Housing and Urban Development, he said: It doesn't 
work very well. Tell that to the people who rely on low-income housing 
tax credits, section 8 voucher programs, and all types of housing 
programs that allow people to afford their housing.
  On the issue of school nutrition programs, he says: Guess what. 
There's no demonstrable evidence that they're actually doing that. 
There's no demonstrable evidence that we're actually helping kids to do 
better in school. This is about school nutrition.
  Here is another one: We can't ask single mothers to continue to pay 
for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  Well, single moms might rely on the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting to help their kids learn how to read. I think that Sesame 
Street is a pretty good outfit. That might be their only avenue.
  Here is another one: If you ask, 999 people out of 1,000 would tell 
you that Social Security disability is not part of Social Security. It 
is an old-age retirement that they think of when they think of Social 
  Quite the contrary. People do think of Social Security disability 
when they think of Social Security.
  Here is another quote: ``Are there folks on SNAP who shouldn't be?''
  That is the question.
  So we are, again, trying to focus on fraud in SNAP, rather than 
worrying about hungry Americans.
  Here is another quote: ``Maybe it's reasonable to ask if there are 
folks who are on there that shouldn't be. That is a reasonable question 
to ask.''

[[Page H4559]]

  You know what? I think it is focusing on the wrong part of the 
problem. Hunger, Mr. Speaker, is the problem in the richest country in 
the history of the world. At its richest point in its own history, we 
are being told by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
that we cannot afford SNAP, Meals on Wheels, and public broadcasting. 
  I think that, honestly, Mr. Speaker, it is often said that you should 
speak truth to power. I think we must speak truth to power. I think the 
gentleman from Maryland would agree with me that we have got to speak 
truth to power. But it occurs to me, Mr. Speaker, that the power knows 
exactly what the truth is: this budget is going to hurt hungry 
children. The budget is going to cut seniors. It is going to cut 
veterans. It is going to cut public broadcasting, which is one of the 
major ways people get news in South Dakota and rural America. It is 
going to cut the Appalachian Regional Commission. It is going to leave 
devastation almost everywhere. It is going to cut the EPA by a third.
  The power knows--and I am talking about Trump and his 
administration--the devastation that they are going to inflict on 
people. In fact, that is why they are doing it. They just don't believe 
the government has any role in helping to make Americans lives better.
  Their idea of freedom, Mr. Speaker, is a billionaire being able to 
pollute anywhere and everywhere he wants. Their idea of freedom is 
amassing great fortunes at the expense of everyone else, all the while 
relying on our Nation's military, our Nation's police, the road system; 
all the while relying on clean water, clean air; all the while relying 
on public schools to educate their workforce.
  They say: I did it all by myself. Yet everything they have done has 
been with the help of the government of the people of the United States 
of America. It is really outrageous, Mr. Speaker.
  I think that we are in a moment when we have got to speak truth to 
each other, Mr. Speaker. We have got to go all across this Nation and 
talk to people in the barbershops, the VFW halls. We have got to talk 
to people in the church basement, the mosque basement, the synagogue 
basement. We have got to talk to people on the corners and tell them 
about this budget. If they hear about this Trump budget, they will be 
  Nobody can support this budget, not even a millionaire or a 
billionaire, unless you believe that you are not your brother's keeper, 
that you have no obligation to other people around you, that everything 
around you should be amassed to accumulate wealth for yourself. That is 
the only possible way anybody can stand next to this budget.
  I really do hope that the Republican caucus puts this budget up for a 
vote. I want to see who is going to stand next to this monstrosity of a 
budget. I am curious to see who, representing southern Ohio, Kentucky, 
or Tennessee, is going to vote to zero out the Appalachian Regional 
Commission; who, representing a northern-tier State, is going to cut, 
zero out, LIHEAP. I want to see the Republican who is going to do that. 
I think that will be a pretty gutsy move. I guarantee you, your 
constituents will know exactly what you did. They are watching, Mr. 
Speaker. People watch C-SPAN and they read the news. They read the 
headlines that I read off, Mr. Speaker, and they are aware of what is 
happening in the people's House at this very hour.
  I want the people to know that it is the government's responsibility 
to take care of the least of these. If you are too poor, too old, or 
too sick to work, we should help people. We should do it. I believe it 
is the right thing to do.
  Mr. Speaker, I don't care if they call me a bleeding heart liberal--
they can call me anything they want--but I am going to be there for 
low-income people who are too old, too sick, or too young to work. I am 
going to be there to make sure that people who are out of work but who 
are able-bodied have the support that they need to get to work, to have 
clean air, to have clean water, to promote jobs and infrastructure.
  We are going to be there to do those things, Mr. Speaker, because we 
believe in them.
  Do you know what else, Mr. Speaker?
  We don't believe ``tax'' is a four-letter word. It is actually a 
three-letter word. It is not a bad word at all. In fact, it is the dues 
that you pay to live in a civilized society. If you think tax is some 
kind of a curse word, you can move to Somalia, because they don't have 
many there.
  Here, we have the protection of our police. We have the protection of 
our courts. We have the protection of our Nation's military. We have 
the protection of people who inspect the meat, the water, the air, and 
everything else, and these people look after us as they discharge their 
public responsibility and they get paid in our tax money. There is 
nothing wrong with it. We stand on that.
  I believe there has got to be a few Republicans who agree with what I 
just said. I believe there has got to be a few Republicans who believe 
that it is a good idea for the public to spend money on figuring out 
the vexing diseases that are ravaging people all over America, like 
ALS, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. We should research these diseases. 
And if we need public money to do it, Mr. Speaker, we should spend that 
money. But I don't think this Trump budget reflects that.
  I want to see my friends on the Republican side of the aisle join us 
and say we should not cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; we 
should not cut critical programs that help people; we should not cut 
supplemental assistance programs, SNAP, and food stamps for hungry 
Americans; we should not cut Medicaid, leaving families on the hook to 
pay more for the care of their loved ones with disabilities.
  I don't believe they believe these cuts are right. I just think that 
it is going to take a lot of political courage to stand up and say: You 
know what? Sometimes the government does good for people--we have spent 
decades saying the government is the problem--and now people actually 
believe it sometimes, except they don't believe it when you are cutting 
their healthcare, basic research, cutting money for our parks, and 
literally cutting everything, except the military.
  Oh, by the way, I am the proud father of a military son. My son is a 
veteran. He just finished 4 years of service in the United States Army, 
Mr. Speaker. He was a combat veteran. My whole family is proud of him. 
But I am going to tell you one thing: the money didn't go to him. He 
made less than $25,000 a year. He didn't mind. He is serving his 
  Where is all this Big Money going to go? Who is getting it?
  I don't know. People who make the machinery, the weapons industry, 
they are going to make out like bandits, you better believe that.
  At the end of the day, Mr. Speaker, even the money that they are 
asking us to spend is going to hurt veterans. I know they are trying to 
plus-up a little on the VA, but there are a whole lot of other services 
that veterans benefit from, and they are going to get hurt.
  Mr. Speaker, this Trump budget is wrong, and I believe that every 
Democrat knows it is wrong, and I even believe a few Republicans know 
that it is wrong. We should stand up and say that it is wrong.
  It is wrong to slash the earned income tax credit and child tax 
credit by $40 billion. This is money that goes to people who actually 
work for a living.
  I heard one of our Nation's leaders in the administration say: Oh, 
you are crying about these people who are going to get cut. What about 
the people who pay all the taxes?
  Mr. Speaker, if we would raise the minimum wage, you would have more 
people paying taxes, because people's pay would be higher. It is no 
comfort to say that half the people don't pay taxes. They do pay taxes. 
They pay payroll taxes, they pay sales taxes, they pay property taxes, 
they pay all kind of taxes, Mr. Speaker. It is wrong to try to imply 
that they are freeloaders because they don't pay income taxes. They 
would be glad to pay those income taxes if their income were higher, 
which it would be if we invested in America, which this budget does the 
opposite of. It divests America.
  I just want to say to you as we begin to wrap up that our Nation is 
the greatest Nation in the world not because of bombs and guns and 
military. It is the greatest Nation because we believe in liberty and 
justice for all, and not just a millionaire's and a billionaire's 
liberty to pollute all they want,

[[Page H4560]]

escape taxes all they want, do whatever they please, without any 
  Mr. Speaker, justice is also a part of that equation. Justice means 
doing right by people. Justice means being fair to people. This budget 
is the exact opposite of it. This budget leaves out people like our 
veterans. It cuts almost a billion dollars from housing assistance 
programs to keep a roof over people's heads. It cuts Social Security by 
$72 billion by restricting enrollment in disability insurance programs.
  It hurts our national security. It spends over $2 billion to build an 
unnecessary border wall. Oh, this wall. Mr. Speaker, in his campaign, 
the wall was among the most offensive things, because what it really 
said is we don't really want folks from south of the border around 
here. That is what it said. That is how they felt. Yet here we are 
spending money to prove that point.
  It cuts the State Department and USAID by almost 32 percent. Generals 
will tell you that it is better to talk it out than to shoot it out. 
Yet here we are cutting down our ability to talk it out. What an 
  It eliminates international family planning.
  Let me wrap up by saying this. I was talking to some of my Republican 
friends--and I do have many, and I am proud to say so--and one of them 
said to me: Keith, this thing probably is never going to see the light 
of day.

  I said: Maybe it will and maybe it won't. But this Trump budget is a 
direct reflection of what he would do if he could do it. And that is 
  Mr. RASKIN. I thank Congressman Ellison for his eloquent remarks and 
extraordinary service as co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. He has 
been replaced this week by Congressman Pocan, who we heard from earlier 
this evening, but it was in deference only to the busyness of his 
schedule, since he has also become, in addition to the distinguished 
Congressman from Minnesota, the vice chairman of the Democratic 
National Committee.
  Let's begin to wrap this up. Let's review some of the extraordinary 
assaults on the health and the well-being of the American people that 
are embodied in this atrocious budget.
  First, the President says: let's cut children's health insurance by 
more than $600 billion.
  This would strip countless children of dental care, asthma treatment, 
and other medical visits.
  It eliminates over $190 billion to the SNAP program, a supplemental 
assistance program that is the food assistance program which helps 
prevent 42 million working families from going hungry in America.
  It calls for billions in cuts to Medicaid. It, unbelievably, in the 
middle of an opioid crisis across the country, would reduce access to 
drug addiction treatment and drug prevention services with a $1.2 
billion cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

                              {time}  1815

  At a time when we need to be doubling down on investment in drug 
prevention and drug treatment and dealing with the opioid crisis, the 
Trump administration simply hides under the bed.
  The budget would cut the Department of Labor's job training programs 
by an astonishing two-thirds--that is job training for our people at a 
time when we are going through dramatic structural shifts in the nature 
of the economy with robots and mechanization, and they want to cut by 
65 percent the Department of Labor's job training programs.
  They want to sell off our national parks and public lands for oil 
drilling, gas exploration, and fracking. They want to sell the land of 
the American people--the trust that we have had for centuries--that a 
great Republican President, Teddy Roosevelt, once insisted on. They 
want to sell it off to their friends at Exxon Mobil and the frackers 
across the country.
  They have spent $10 billion building their stupid wall--a 14th 
century answer to a 21st century problem. Maybe they will have a moat 
and some alligators to go with it. But didn't I hear somebody say on 
the campaign trail that Mexico was going to pay for that wall? I heard 
millions of people chanting that at rallies, and the President was 
saying: Mexico--you can believe me--Mexico is going to pay for it.
  Already they are putting $2 billion in our budget while they are 
stripping schoolchildren of their lunches. While they are slashing 
scientific and medical research in the country, they want to put $2 
billion into a wall that nobody needs at a time when illegal 
immigration from the southern border is at a decade's record low. They 
want to take $2 billion and put it into that.
  They want to cut billions of dollars from afterschool programs, from 
teacher training, and from student loans. They want to eliminate 
funding for Planned Parenthood, which millions of women and men depend 
on not just for family planning but also for basic medical attention, 
purely out of animosity toward Planned Parenthood which has not 
received one penny for abortion services in many decades. They just 
want to dismantle it. They would destroy it if they could, despite the 
fact that millions of Americans depend on Planned Parenthood.
  They want to cut Social Security--which they promised not to touch--
by $72 billion by restricting enrollment in the disability insurance 
program--and on and on. You name your favorite, most important Federal 
program, and I guarantee you, unless you are a Big Business beltway 
contractor defense bandit, it is going to be cut in this budget. You 
can go and check it out.
  Now, if a foreign power--a foreign repressive power--like Putin's 
Russia or Duterte's Philippines or Orban's Hungary set out to injure 
and demoralize the American people, they could not have done better 
than the budget which President Trump sent to Capitol Hill this week. 
This is a budget that is drafted seemingly by an enemy of the American 
  It is not the media that is the American people's enemy, as the 
President insisted, it is whoever drafted this budget. That is the 
enemy of the American people.
  Let them eat emoluments, they are telling us with this. Let them eat 
emoluments. They have got all the emoluments. They are the ones taking 
the money from the foreign governments. But they are saying, Let them 
eat emoluments, because the American people have been robbed by this 
budget if it were ever to see the light of day.
  Mr. Speaker, a great Republican President once spoke of government of 
the people, by the people, and for the people. Abraham Lincoln was a 
Member of this body. He sat where we have the honor of sitting in this 
body, and he talked about government of the people, by the people, and 
for the people. This is a budget of the super rich, by the super rich, 
for the super rich. It was drafted by a Cabinet of billionaires for the 
people who are lounging at Mar-a-Lago today, and they give the finger 
to the rest of the country. That is what this budget says.
  If my friends on the other side of the aisle are smart--and I know 
they are--and they know what is good for them--and I know they do, Mr. 
Speaker--they will say immediately this document is DOA and they have 
got nothing to do with it and very quickly distance themselves from it. 
We need to return to that great vision of a government that is of the 
people, by the people, and for the people. That is who we are as a 
  The government right now is experiencing a hostile takeover by a tiny 
elite, and that is what is taking place around the world today. If you 
look at Putin's Russia, if you look at Orban's Hungary, if you look at 
Duterte in the Philippines, if you look at what they tried to do with 
Le Pen in France, there is a new model, my friends, all over the world. 
Government is a moneymaking operation for a tiny elite in each society. 
They want to go back to something like kings and queens where the 
government serves the tiniest portion of the people.
  They might get elected spouting populist rhetoric and slogans, but 
the minute they get in, Wall Street takes over. We have got a President 
who campaigned against Goldman Sachs, and his Cabinet is dominated by 
Goldman Sachs. How long are people going to fall for that magic trick? 
Not very long if anybody still believes in it out there. I don't think 
anybody's faith or confidence in this President as a populist will 
survive this budget--what a joke, and what an insult to the great 
populists of American history like the populist movement in William 
Jennings Bryan, that they would dare to associate themselves with 

[[Page H4561]]

  This is a budget that is based on elitism and class warfare, top-down 
class warfare: the richest people in this country against everybody 
else. That is what this budget represents. That is what it embodies.
  So check out the Progressive Caucus' People's Budget. It is a real 
reinvestment in the infrastructure of the country: our bridges, our 
roads, our highways, our transit systems, our port systems, our 
airports, and cybersecurity--where America really needs investment, not 
stealing from poor people, not stealing from the working class, and not 
ripping off NIH and the Centers for Disease Control in order to put 
money in the Pentagon for a bunch of beltway bandits and defense 
contractors who have so much money they don't know what to do with it 
anymore. That is not what we need. We need a real investment in 
  This budget is an affront, and it is an insult to the American 
people. We should reject it immediately. I call on all of our 
colleagues, Mr. Speaker, to repudiate this document in a bipartisan 
fashion, and let's get down to work for the American people.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.