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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida reaction to Trump's budget proposal: Blah

President Trump's budget proposal brought negative reviews from Florida Democrats and little reaction from Republicans, a telling sign of overall lack of enthusiasm.

"This plan cuts some of our most critical programs including Medicaid and food stamps," said Sen. Bill Nelson. "It also cuts funding to agencies such as NIH, which is working to find cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s, and the EPA, which protects our environment. Slashing these vital programs will hurt millions of hardworking families. We should be focused on helping people, not hurting those who need our help the most.”

Nelson said the budget would also eliminate Amtrak service in Florida. More than 950,000 Floridians used the service in the last fiscal year.

Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart: “As a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, I will thoughtfully review and consider the President’s request. The Constitution is clear in that funding decisions are ultimately in the hands of Congress, and it is critical we ensure hard earned taxpayer dollars are well spent.  I look forward to working with Chairman Frelinghuysen, Chairwoman Black, and the White House to put together a fiscally responsible budget.”

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo: “Today’s budget proposed by the Administration does not reflect the appropriate allocation of funds to get our country back on sound fiscal footing. From cuts to agencies needed to protect our environment and combat the threats of climate change, to cuts to our safety nets for the most-needy Americans, to complete slashing of public broadcasting funds, this budget abandons progress already made on programs that enjoy bipartisan support. As the House looks to begin its own budget and appropriations process, my colleagues and I will work to ensure many of these programs remain adequately funded."

Sen. Marco Rubio has not responded to a request for comment or issued a statement.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "The Trump budget ignores the needs of America’s hard-working families and brutally assaults our health care and public education system, while all but abandoning those struggling to make ends meet. It hollows out crucial commitments to housing, nutrition assistance, and the environment, along with job training and medical research investments. Yet it delivers obscene tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, and relies on unrealistic revenue projections that no respected economist would embrace. At a time when building up and working with our allies is absolutely crucial, Trump’s budget also guts vital diplomatic funding that recklessly increases our chances of being dragged into another conflict, and ultimately makes us no safer. This budget ignores America’s needs and values, and should be quickly cast aside.” 

Rep. Al Lawson, D-Tallahassee: "In my district, one in every four Floridians has been on food stamps at some point over the last 12 months. That is twice the national average. It is unconscionable for the President to propose cutting nutrition benefits at any level, because any reduction would mean less for those in North Florida who need it most. Every day, children who qualify for free breakfast and lunch attend school and are fed the only meals they will receive that day because their parents can’t afford to feed them. We put hard-working Floridians in the no-win position of having to choose between paying their light bill or affording healthy food. This is unacceptable."

Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg: "A budget is a reflection of our principles and this proposal illustrates a complete lack of values. It decimates vital programs – from environmental protections to public education to medical research. It cuts taxes for the very wealthy while leaving the poor, sick, and disabled out in the cold. It doubles down on cruel cuts to Medicaid – despite promising not to touch it. In Pinellas County where 40% of our children depend on Medicaid and CHIP for their care, what could be more heartless? This budget is fiscally irresponsible and morally repugnant.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:49pm]

    

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