On March 16, 2017, President Trump sent Congress an outline of his budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The framework, nicknamed the “skinny” budget, dramatically reduces funding for domestic programs, including numerous senior services.
While his preliminary budget does not specify line-item funding levels, it does reveal his priorities. The budget increases defense spending by $54 billion and reduces non-defense discretionary spending by the same amount, including an 18% cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services, which houses the agencies that administers the Older Americans Act programs. These cuts come on top of 5% cuts these programs already experienced over the last 5 years through sequestration – an across-the-board cut.
Congress should oppose the funding cuts. Here is a list of cuts that will harm seniors and retirees:
Cuts Funding for Medical Research
Stifles research by cutting $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health. Today 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day and will need medical breakthroughs to treat Alzheimer’s and other devastating medical diseases.
Eliminates funding for Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Eliminates LIHEAP, which helps low-income seniors with the cost of cooling and heating their homes. Cuts the Corporation for National and Community Service, which supports senior volunteerism programs like Foster Grandparents and Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, and Senior Companions.
Cuts Senior Nutrition Assistance
Decimates the Community Development Block Grant, which provides funding to states and communities to, among other things, help fund home-delivered meals through organizations such as Meals on Wheels.
Eliminates Senior Workforce Development Program
Zeros out funding for the Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP), which provides work-based job training for low-income, unemployed older Americans and pays them for up to 20 hours of work, allowing them to supplement their income.
Cuts Legal Services Corporation
This agency administers the elder justice program, which provides federal resources to prevent, detect, treat, understand, intervene in and, where appropriate, prosecute elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Cuts Housing Program
Cuts rental assistance program under the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, potentially affecting Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly.
Eliminates Funding for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
The CSBG provides funding to communities to help alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty. The grant provides wrap around service for older adults to maintain self-sufficiency.
For a printable version of this fact sheet, click here.
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