Issue Report ● President Trump's FY2021 Budget
For Immediate Release: 
February 11, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Yesterday, the President released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 and made his priorities clear: he continues to put the wealthiest Americans first at the expense of working families. The budget proposal makes tax cuts for the wealthy permanent while breaking his promises to working families on health care, the economy, and other areas that help Americans get ahead and keep them safe.

In the President’s State of the Union address, he pledged to always protect Medicare and Social Security and discussed the importance of affordable, innovative, and high-quality health care. However, his budget proposal is yet another attack on access to affordable health care, including prescription drugs, and undermines public health by:
  • Slashing Medicaid by $900 billion;
  • Cutting Medicare by half a trillion-dollars;
  • Reducing funding for other health programs by more than $200 billion;
  • Cutting medical research at the National Institutes of Health by $3.3 billion and funding for the Centers for Disease Control by $678 million; and
  • Ignoring the climate crisis and targeting EPA programs that ensure clean air and water.
“President Donald Trump has vowed over the course of his presidency not to cut federal spending for entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But his $4.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, unveiled Monday, seeks to do just that…[it] would cut billions from the three major safety-net programs over the next decade.” [Newsweek, 2/10/20]


In his State of the Union address, the President also promised “a prosperous and inclusive society” where “every citizen can join in America’s unparalleled success.” However, his budget would cut numerous programs that help lift Americans out of poverty and expand opportunity:
  • Cutting nutrition assistance by $182 billion (SNAP);
  • Restricting eligibility for the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits; and
  • Eliminating the Community Development Block Grant Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which assist in rehabilitating homes and creating economic opportunity in communities.

“President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would take an axe to the social safety net, making huge cuts to cash and food benefits for low-income Americans…the document shows just how committed the president is to slashing benefits for the poor…The proposal calls for slashing SNAP funding by $182 billion over the next 10 years, a sharp reduction from the $58 billion the government spent on SNAP in 2019… It would cut $15 billion from TANF over the next decade…” [Mother Jones, 2/10/20]

In the State of the Union, the President discussed how his Administration is restoring “our manufacturing might” and “rebuilding our country” in the global economy. But rather than work to support American innovation and competitiveness, his budget undermines our nation by:
  • Eliminating funding for Economic Development Administration grants, which support innovation and entrepreneurship, advance regional competitiveness, and create jobs;
  • Eliminating the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which assists small- and medium-sized manufacturers in the U.S.; and
  • Eliminating several popular clean energy programs that help America compete globally in the industry, including the Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
“The budget also pares money for the trade adjustment assistance program, which is run through the Labor Department. The program offers training and support to workers who have lost their jobs as a result of outsourcing...The cuts to the Commerce Department budget also include various reductions to economic development programs.” [The New York Times, 2/10/2020]

The President said in his State of the Union address that we must ensure that “every young American gets a great education.” However, his budget undermines access to education by:
  • Cutting student loan programs by $170 billion over 10 years;
  • Eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness initiative; and
  • Cutting $5.6 billion from the Department of Education this year.
“As student debt continues to climb, President Donald Trump on Monday released a budget for 2021 that would slash many of the programs aimed at helping borrowers… in all, Trump’s proposal would request $66.6 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, trimming the budget by $5.6 billion, or nearly 8%. The proposed cut is less steep than last year, when he called for a nearly 10% reduction in spending for the department. [CNBC, 02/10/20]

Without offering any specifics, the President said in his State of the Union address that we must rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, and he has consistently called for a $2 trillion infrastructure package. Yet, his budget fails to lay out a robust $2 trillion plan and includes cuts to critical infrastructure investment. His proposal takes us in the wrong direction by:
  • Cutting Department of Transportation funding by 13% this year;
  • Reducing funding for the Army Corps of Engineers by 22% this year; and
  • Cutting the EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) for water and waste water infrastructure.
“The Trump administration on Monday proposed cutting billions in discretionary spending in next year’s Department of Transportation budget… The proposed budget cuts discretionary spending by 13 percent, including deep reductions in spending on Amtrak and airport grants. It also cuts more than $2 billion in highway infrastructure funds and more than $500 million in transit grants.” [The Washington Post, 2/10/2020]
The President claimed in the State of the Union address that the United States “is respected again.” He also claims to be “restoring American leadership” and “putting an end to the endless wars that have cost our country for too long.” Trump’s budget, however, unequivocally tells a different story by imposing steep cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid. These are exactly the programs military leaders like Admiral Mike Mullen advocate are essential to ending wars and preventing future conflicts. Trump’s budget makes our nation less safe by:
  • Cutting diplomacy and aid programs from $930 million to $765 million; 
  • Reducing public diplomacy funding from $645 million to $524 million;
  • Cutting funding from overseas refugee assistance by more than 85 percent, from $3.17 billion to $462 million;
  • Slashing funding for the National Endowment for Democracy from $300 million to $67 million;
  • Cutting payments to the United Nations by more than 50 percent; and
  • Eliminating loan guarantees for Ukraine and significantly reducing funding for Ukrainian anti-corruption programs.
“…Foreign aid will be slashed by 21 percent… The Trump administration has long been hostile to foreign aid… The problem, however, is that this foreign aid funding isn’t just charity: Taking nearly $12 billion out of the foreign aid budget would severely harm US diplomatic efforts. For one, giving nations money they need to keep volatile situations stable enhances global security, and could actually prove cost-effective to the US if the money helps prevent catastrophe at home or abroad down the line.” [Vox, 2/10/2020]

While the President didn’t even mention the deficits or debt in the State of the Union address, he did campaign on balancing the budget in eight years. His budget includes extreme spending cuts and makes fantasy economic projections that the Congressional Budget Office and other experts have called unrealistic. Yet, even taking those into account, the President’s budget still does not balance over the next 10 years.

Even with all the proposed spending cuts, the budget would fail to eliminate the federal deficit over the next 10 years, missing a longtime GOP fiscal target. Instead, White House officials plan to say their budget proposal would close the deficit by 2035. But it would only achieve this if the economy grows at an unprecedented, sustained 3 percent clip through 2025, levels the administration has failed to achieve for even one year so far.” [Washington Post, 02/10/20]

Time after time the President has promised Mexico will pay for his ineffective border wall. Instead, he’s doubling down on forcing American taxpayers to foot the bill in his latest budget proposal.

“The proposal includes $2 billion to construct an additional 82 miles of wall…Trump has already constructed 101 miles of wall and plans to construct an additional 475 miles, according to the proposal, costing an estimated $18.4 billion and making it the most expensive wall of any kind worldwide…” [Vox, 2/10/20]

Click here to read the PDF. 

Follow Leader Hoyer on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.