March 14, 2019

Manchin Statement On President Trump's FY 2020 Budget Proposal

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today issued the following statement on President Trump’s FY 2020 budget proposal and how it will affect West Virginia. 

“I have always said that our national budget should be fiscally responsible and reflect our values and our priorities.  Unfortunately, the budget proposal from the President cuts Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, ends protections for people with pre-existing conditions, severely underfunds West Virginia economic development, and, somehow still leaves us with years of trillion dollar deficits. This is not what the country needs or expects and the President’s budget falls short of the big fix that this country needs. 

“The President’s budget repeals the Medicaid expansion, immediately jeopardizing health coverage for 153,874 West Virginians. It also directly threatens West Virginians with pre-existing conditions by cutting $368 billion from Medicaid. It eliminates critical economic development agencies and programs that West Virginia relies on and crucial funding for critical energy research and development that are essential to accelerating innovation. 

“Even worse, the budget adds trillions of dollars of deficits over the next few years to our already unsustainable national debt.  We cannot continue to spend like this, which is why I have consistently supported a Balanced Budget Amendment similar to what we did when I was Governor.  If West Virginia can do it, Washington can, too.  The difference between what we did back home and what we’re doing now is that we faced these choices together.  We worked across party lines to address challenges and set our state on the right path.  We did all this by living within our means.  I strongly believe that we need a balanced budget, but one that takes a responsible and reasonable approach – this does neither.

“In the coming months, I hope the President, Democrats and Republicans can come together to pass a budget that will avoid the embarrassing display of dysfunction and political posturing that caused the last government shutdown. While no single Senator, Representative or even President can be expected to have all the answers, we as a nation can’t afford months of political posturing that will delay the hard work the American people elected us to do.”

Last week, Senator Manchin sent a letter to the President outlining the West Virginia priorities that he will be working to include in the budget as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Click here to read the letter. 

The President’s budget cuts or eliminates funding from the following programs: 

Medicaid: $87.1 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a 12% decrease from current funding levels that includes a $1.3 billion cut to mandatory spending, much of which comes from Medicare and Medicaid.  The budget also repeals the Medicaid expansion and replaces it with a new federal-state partnership that establishes per-person caps or fixed grants at reduced funding levels, jeopardizing health coverage for the 153,874 West Virginians who gained coverage through Medicaid expansion.

Education: The budget includes a 12% decrease to the Department of Education from 2019 and also eliminates 29 discretionary programs accounting for $6.7 billion, including Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), instead consolidating the TRIO and GEAR UP programs into one grant

Eliminates various economic development agencies and programs that benefit WV, including:

oEconomic Development Administration – WV is one of the biggest recipients of per capita funding through EDA largely through the Assistance to Coal Communities Grants

oAbandoned Mine Land grants

oCommunity Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) fund – which would harm the Natural Capital Investment Fund in Shepherdstown and Woodlands Community Lenders in Elkins, which promote economic revitalization in distressed communities around the state by providing loans to businesses and organizations that might not qualify with traditional banking institutions. 

oCommunity Development Block Grant (CDBG) program

Eliminates or drastically reduces funding for important public lands programs, namely:

oLand & Water Conservation Fund: $427 million decrease from current funding levels (-98%) – Senator Manchin just worked to reauthorize this program through the Public Lands Package with significant bipartisan support

oNational Heritage Area: Zeroed out (-$20 million) in the budget when it needs to be increased to include the newly designated Appalachian Forest Heritage Area that I was able to include in the Public Lands Package

oNational Park Service: -$500 million

ONDCP: Guts the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy 

Broadband: Significant reduction in broadband funding, including the USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program, which receives just $200 million (FY18 was $600 million and FY19 was $550 million so this is a major decrease when we should be increasing this to reach rural areas being left behind by the digital divide).

EPA: $6.1 billion for EPA, a $2.8 billion or 31% decrease from 2019.  This includes major cuts to programs that are critical to West Virginia, including both the Drinking Water (-$300 mil) and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (-$574 mil).  For West Virginia, that would translate to a projected -$3 million impact in Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and -$9 million in Clean Water State Revolving Funds.


oEliminates Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E)

oEliminated Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program

Significantly reduces funding for transportation to rural areas that need it most, such as:

oEAS – $125 million for Essential Air Service (EAS), a decrease of $50 million from FY19 levels (-28.5%), as well as reforms such as adjustments to eligibility and limitations to the per-passenger subsidies for communities that are relatively close to larger airports. 

oAmtrak – Proposes restructuring long-distance train routes to focus on short-distance routes (less than 750 miles) which put the Cardinal and Capitol Limited at risk.

Eliminates affordable housing programs like HOME Investment Partnerships and the Section 4 Capacity Building Program