Our response to the proposed budget

If a budget is a reflection of values and priorities, then it is safe to assume that President Donald Trump sees little value in investing in rural people and places.

The President’s detailed budget for 2018 aggressively undermines rural opportunity and progress. This budget would eliminate or cut back programs that support rural vitality, from affordable housing to early-childhood education to the care and feeding of our country’s most vulnerable. Mr. Trump’s budget prioritizes tax give-aways for the wealthiest and increases in defense spending over hungry kids and clean drinking water, which is in direct opposition to the proposition that a healthy, educated, and vital population is our best defense against harmful forces, both foreign and domestic.

If enacted, this budget would harm rural and tribal communities and families and weaken the overall health of the nation. 

The National Rural Assembly urges rural advocates to take every opportunity to raise their voices with Congressional members, local and state officials, and the media. 

If you would like to share your own statement or share a story about a rural development program that has made a difference in your community please email us.

For a detailed reporting on the rural implications of this budget, read the analysis from The Daily Yonder.

Below are statements from other National Rural Assembly partner organizations, Steering Committee members, and other allies. (We’ll be adding to this.)

  • Alan Morgan, National Rural Health Association (a National Rural Assembly Steering Committee organizational member): “At a time when rural hospital closures are escalating, and one in three rural hospitals is at financial risk of closing, President Trump’s budget delivers a fatal blow to the rural health care safety net.” More here.
  • Moises Loza, Housing Assistance Council (a National Rural Assembly Steering Committee organizational member): “I have worked in rural housing since 1973 and I have never seen a budget proposal that is indifferent to the needs of the most vulnerable rural people. Until now.” More here.
  • National Cooperative Business Association Cooperative League of the USA (NCBA CLUSA):  “While we’re disappointed in the priorities outlined in the budget proposal, NCBA CLUSA is confident that Congress will ultimately recognize the value of cooperative development,” [Vice President for Advocacy Alan] Knapp said. “Now is the time to throw all of our energy and resources into highlighting, defending and ensuring the continuation of the good work cooperatives and their members do,” he added. More here.
  • National Congress of American Indians (a National Rural Assembly Steering Committee organizational member): “If this budget were enacted for BIA, the overall funding provided for BIA would be lower than any level in the last 15 years, when adjusted for inflation.” More here.
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (a National Rural Assembly Steering Committee organizational member): “In its first budget presented to Congress this week, the Trump Administration proposed to slash, and in some cases eliminate, programs that support rural residents and family farmers. When combined with new U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to eliminate the Undersecretary for Rural Development, the new budget cuts are even more troubling.” More here.

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