WASHINGTON – The three traditionally Democratic states that flipped for President Trump, giving him the election, would be among the hardest hit by grant programs Trump now wants to eliminate.
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania could lose more than 11% of discretionary federal grant funding if Congress goes along with Trump’s proposed cuts, according to an analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
In Trump’s first formal budget proposal released in March, he seeks to “redefine the proper role" of the federal government by dramatically reducing its involvement in many domestic areas while boosting investments in security.
The cuts include eliminating at least 20 grant programs important to states. Programs on the chopping block include those that help the elderly and low-income people pay their heating and power bills, help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, support before- and after-school and summer programs, and fund a variety of anti-poverty grant programs.
The programs represent at least 9% of the $145 billion states received in federal grants last year.
“We used it as an illustrative example of the fact that the federal budget is not just a national story,” said Anne Stauffer, director of Pew’s fiscal federalism project. “It’s a state-by-state story.”
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Development Block Grants make up the largest share of the funding that would be cut. The White House argues LIHEAP is a “lower-impact program” that hasn’t shown “strong performance outcomes.” Community Development Block Grants are not well targeted to the poorest populations and haven’t demonstrated results, the administration said in its budget blueprint.
The 11 states that would be affected the most if the programs are eliminated are in the Northeast and upper Midwest, including five states Trump won.
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, the GOP senator of one those states, praised Trump’s budget blueprint in March. Toomey said it would significantly strengthen national security as well as make changes to non-defense programs to pay for increased military spending.
“I am encouraged that the president has proposed actual spending cuts,” Toomey said at the time. But he added he will carefully examine each of the proposed reductions.
States that would lose the largest share of discretionary grant funding under Trump’s proposed budget cuts:
New Hampshire: 13.3%
Rhode Island: 11.3%
(Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts)
© 2017 WCSH-TV