Statement of Megan Amundson, Women’s Action for New Directions Executive Director, on the Trump Administration Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request
"By dramatically cutting the social safety net and diplomacy to pay for the military, President Trump has made his priorities loud and clear: he supports defense contractors over the working class, weapons and war over diplomacy, a new generation of nuclear weapons over the next generation of people.
"The proposed budget would particularly impact women and their families, who rely on the social safety net for economic stability and security, and, in some cases, to break the cycle of poverty. Massive divestments from Medicaid and supplemental nutrition assistance, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, cuts to education loan programs, and a paid family leave proposal that excludes too many from the system are just a few of the policies in this budget that directly target women in the United States. This budget would also cut diplomatic initiatives that promote women’s equality abroad, which research shows is one of the keys to national growth and stability.
"The tradeoff in this budget is women’s health and well-being for increased spending on the Pentagon, which received a $54 billion increase over the Budget Control Act caps. This budget continues the recent practice of stuffing the Pentagon coffers without requiring accountability. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney is justifying the slashed social safety net and diplomacy spending by saying that programs aren’t working. But he refuses to look into massive waste, fraud, and abuse at the Pentagon. For the last several decades, the Pentagon has spent over $60 billion dollars on canceled or failed weapons programs with virtually no consequences, for instance. Why isn’t the Trump Administration looking into what’s not working in these programs?
"WAND calls on Congress to reject the Trump budget proposal out of hand and work together to invest in programs that allow the American people the chance to pursue their dreams, escape poverty, save for their children’s education, and retire with dignity. They should fund diplomatic initiatives that fight extremism, increase women’s empowerment, and support children’s nutrition. This is not only the just thing to do; it builds stability abroad, which is in America’s national security interest. WAND urges Congress not to make any grand bargains that increases defense spending at the expense of women and families."