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Congressman Al Lawson

Representing the 5th District of Florida

WOKV - LOCAL LAWMAKERS REACT TO TRUMP’S BUDGET PROPOSAL

March 17, 2017
In The News

It seems like everything in Capitol Hill these days is split down party lines.

That's certainly the case for your local lawmakers when it comes to the President's proposed $1.15 trillion budget.

Democrats like Jacksonville area House Representative Al Lawson aren't happy with President Trump's plans to make big cuts to the budgets for Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency.

"President Trump’s budget calls for extreme cuts to vital funding for job training, clean energy, medical research, and public education," Lawson added. "It is a short-sighted plan that seeks to give tax breaks to the wealthiest while taking away lifelines for those who need it most."

Lawson - who replaced Corrine Brown after beating her in the primary last August - says he intends to strongly oppose this budget plan.

"We cannot reform our nation’s health care system while simultaneously cutting $12.6 billion from the Health and Human Services budget," Lawson noted. "If we want to ensure clean drinking water for future generations, we need to be investing more in the Environmental Protection Agency, not cutting $2.6 billion from its budget."

Democrat Senator Bill Nelson says he doesn't like the idea of cuts just to do things like building a wall along the Mexican border.

“This plan doesn’t make any sense," Nelson stated. "You're going to cut some of our most important agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, which is working to find cures for cancer and Alzheimer's, the Environmental Protection Agency, which keeps our air and water clean, and the Army Corps of Engineers, which is working to restore the Everglades."

Florida's junior Senator - Republican Marco Rubio - says he likes that President Trump is pushing for more school choice.

"I am very encouraged that this budget supports ideas like the Educational Opportunities Act I first introduced in 2013 with the goal of expanding school choice through tax credit incentives for scholarships to low-income students," Rubio said. "It's a promising sign that we'll be able to work with the administration on school choice policies I care deeply about because of the positive impact they can have in providing hardworking families with better school options for their kids."

Trump's former presidential rival is also pleased with more funding going towards the military, saying it's needed to reverse the damage caused by the Obama administration. He predicts strong support for that in Congress.

Having said that, Rubio isn't a fan of a proposed 28% cut to the country's international affairs budget, saying that it will affect programs integral to national security and affect the State Department's diplomatic efforts.

"Cuts at these levels undermine America’s ability to keep our citizens safe," Rubio added. "In order to advance our national security interests, economic opportunity for our people and respect for human dignity everywhere, America’s leadership on the global stage is indispensable."

In a rare show of bipartisan unity, Lawson agreed with Rubio.

“Our international standing relies on our global development and diplomacy work, which cannot afford an $11 billion cut," Lawson noted.

Find out what other programs President Trump wants to slash in Washington Insider Jamie Dupree's blog.