Weekly Democratic Address
February 14, 2020
Hi, I’m Senator Debbie Stabenow, and I am proud to represent the great state of Michigan.
This week, President Trump released his budget. And it’s unfortunately a disaster for Michigan families and families across our country.
Michigan families want quality, affordable health care, including lower-priced prescription drugs. I am sure you want that for your family as well. But what does President Trump do? He proposes a budget that slashes $1.6 trillion dollars from critical health care programs, like Medicaid and Medicare.
In Michigan, 3 out of 5 seniors in nursing homes get their care through Medicaid. And their Medicaid covers nearly half of all the babies born in our country.
Medicaid also treats almost 1 in every 3 people with a substance abuse disorder or those who need mental health help.
Yet the Trump budget cuts Medicaid by $900 billion and Medicare by $500 billion. That’s bad news for babies, bad news for moms, bad news for families, and bad news for seniors.
Meanwhile, in his State of the Union speech, President Trump promised that people with pre-existing conditions would be protected.
Yet nothing in his budget stops the Trump Administration’s aggressive support for a lawsuit that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, including coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
And that’s not all. The Trump Budget cuts $2.6 billion from health research, including the National Cancer Institute. We need new treatments and we need new cures, but we can’t get there without critical research!
Incredibly, the Trump Budget also cuts millions from programs that help us respond to disease outbreaks including the coronavirus. That makes no sense – and it’s dangerous!
Also, we want clean air and water, right? But the Trump Budget slashes $2.4 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency, gutting programs that protect our families from toxic substances, keep our drinking water safe and improve air quality.
President Trump says he cares about rural communities, too, like where I grew up in northern Michigan, but his budget says otherwise. He cuts rural high-speed internet, rural opioid treatment, critical support for our farmers, who are having a lot of challenges and rural education.
And speaking of education, our children’s public schools are cut by $4.8 billion in this budget, and students receive less financial aid in a time when the high cost of college is keeping them from earning their degrees.
And on top of all of that, huge cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program leave children, veterans, and families hungry. Not even Meals on Wheels escapes President Trump’s budget ax!
Our country’s budget is a reflection of who we are and what we care about and who we care about. President Trump’s budget betrays American families and our seniors.
Senate Democrats strongly oppose this budget. We understand that you and your family deserve a fair shot to work hard and get ahead. I want you to know that Democrats will continue putting the needs of hard-working families first.