U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the following statement on the threat to Florida jobs and economy, health and education under President Donald Trump's budget that was released today:
“President Trump’s budget fails to deliver on his promises to create jobs and put middle-class families first. Instead, his priorities would put Florida jobs at risk, particularly jobs tied to medical research and clean energy. The Trump budget proposes to slash the National Institutes of Health by close to 20 percent, which would eliminate higher-paying jobs at the Moffitt Cancer Center and University of South Florida where scientists are developing the cutting-edge treatments and cures of the future. Florida's clean energy future and the jobs tied to it also would suffer under Trump’s budget as investments in new solar and renewable energy technology would be cut. Florida has more potential to tap solar energy than any state in the country.
“While the Trump budget keeps the Title I school funding intact, students and families who rely on afterschool help are on the chopping block. Plus, the impactful TRIO initiative known as Upward Bound that mentors students and helps them become first in their families to achieve the dream of attending college, would see its funding decrease dramatically. Upward Bound students at USF and other colleges and universities are hugely successful thanks to the boost that Upward Bound provides. Pell grants, used by almost 40,000 students in Tampa bay during the 2014-15 school year, would also be negatively affected. Trump’s budget calls for the cancellation of $3.9 billion in Pell reserves set aside to help students take summer classes.
“The Department of Transportation is also a target in Trump’s budget. The TIGER grant program, which funded the completion of Tampa’s Riverwalk and provides nearly $500 million to integral road and transportation programs that create jobs, would be eliminated. The budget would also do away with over $250 million in NOAA grants and programs, including Sea Grant which is vital to strong marine biology research like those at USF and to keeping the Gulf of Mexico and our beaches healthy.
“The Trump budget continues its attack on Florida’s environment by cutting 31 percent of the EPA’s budget, forcing the agency to abandon its commitment to public health and environmental protection, and making cash-strapped states take on more regulatory duties. My neighbors would especially feel the impact of Trump’s cuts to the EPA in the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the condition of Tampa Bay and Florida’s natural resources for future generations. President Trump’s partner, Governor Rick Scott, with his cuts and neglect of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has exacerbated the impact of these EPA cuts for Florida. Clean water and clean beaches are central to a healthy environment and economy in Florida and Trump’s budget puts them in danger’s way.
“Trump’s budget would reverse sequestration for defense programs, but with no corresponding balance to other parts of the budget - it would deepen the already austere cuts to non-defense programs by $15 billion in fiscal year 2017 even though it is nearly halfway over, then by $54 billion in fiscal year 2018. It is clear that Trump’s budget is not balanced in a way that our community needs and expects. It shifts even more economic burdens onto the shoulders of working families, guts important services and investments in our economy, attacks vital education programs and hurts Tampa Bay’s sensitive natural resources.”