Leahy reacts to President Trump’s State of the Union

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Leahy reacts to President Trump’s State of the Union

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 5:14pm -- tim

Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) President Trump’s State Of The Union Message Tuesday Night Under this President, the State of our Union is suddenly tenuous, in many ways. President Trump can say he’s for uniting instead of dividing the nation.  He’s said it before.  But after a year of intensely divisive actions, petty insults and disgraceful race-baiting, those words ring hollow by now.  Nor does doubling down on his broken promises to help struggling Americans sound as convincing as it once might have.

The #BudgetTruthSquad

Fact Checks President Trump’s State Of The Union

(Prepared by the Democratic staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee)

Senator Patrick Leahy, Vice Chairman

Infrastructure:

“I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve….Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.”

 ·       One year after the President took office, he still has not sent Congress a detailed proposal for funding infrastructure, but his formal budget proposes to:

  •    Cut highways, transit, and bridges by $96 billion over ten years
  •    Cut Amtrak by $735 million
  •    Eliminate the TIGER multi-modal transportation grants
  •    Eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program
  •    Cut the transit Capital Investment Grants program by $1.2 billion (-50%)
  •    Cuts the Corps of Engineers budget for flood control and other water projects by $1 billion (-17%)
  •    Eliminate the HOME program, the only federal assistance program for affordable housing construction

Coast Guard:

“We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.  Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.  Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives.  Thank you, Ashlee.”

  • The President’s budget proposes to cut the Coast Guard budget for buying ships, planes and helicopters by $167 million (-12%).   

Vocational Schools:

“Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.”

  •        The President’s budget proposes to cut funding for Career and Technical Education by $148 million (-13%).

Job Training:

“As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training.”

  •        The President’s budget proposes to cut the Employment and Training Administration by $2.3 billion (-23%)

Opioids:

“My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need.  The struggle will be long and difficult -- but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.”

·       The President’s budget proposes to cut the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services budget by $374 million (-10%).

The tens of billions of dollars that he wants taxpayers – not Mexico, as he promised – to pay for his cynical and misbegotten wall are sorely needed instead to improve veterans care, tackle the worsening opioid crisis, and address so many other pressing needs right here at home.

His Trump First focus isolates the United States from the world community.  He is alienating our international friends and allies, weakening our global leadership, ceding power to other nations that do not share our values, and threatening our long-term security.

He has been systematically dismantling the constitutional pillars, ideals and principles that have kept America strong and vibrant.  His latest attacks on the independence of our justice system are more than appalling; they are deeply dangerous.

Words cannot and will not repair the damage he already has done.  Concrete deeds, steady actions, good faith cooperation and truth-telling will be needed for that.  Most Americans, as I do, yearn for a turn toward that kind of presidential leadership.

He can effectively deliver words on a screen, but it is what he delivers for the American people that matters going forward.