President Donald Trump unveiled his spending plan Thursday, prompting swift backlash from California lawmakers and local governments.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and other big city mayors told Politico that the president’s proposed budget would cut into vital city services, including public safety as well as much-needed upgrades to transportation infrastructure.
“As a large-city mayor in the heart of Silicon Valley, however, I learned long ago not to depend on Washington D.C. to make things happen,” Liccardo told the publication. “We’ll find a way to get critical projects built with or without their help.”
Trump’s budget blueprint for the coming year would slash funding for 15 public agencies—including arts, education and those that provide critical health and human services—while beefing up the military and border patrol.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-San Jose), a member of the House Budget Committee, said the president’s “America First” spending plan would devastate countless Americans.
“Investments in public education, research and development, the creative industries, and environmental protections support a vibrant and secure economy,” Khanna said. “Yet, the White House wants to ignore American values by initiating massive cuts to these programs. The strength of our nation is more than just our military might.”
The budget stands to hurt the poorest Americans, particularly those who struggle to afford housing in expensive rental markets like the South Bay. Though Trump promised during his campaign to help the nation's embattled working class and working poor, his cuts to public housing would put hundreds of thousands of people—most of them families, disabled, military veterans and elderly—at risk of homelessness.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called the blueprint the most draconian budget she’s ever seen proposed by a president, adding that it defies basic math and logic.
“It's an absolute travesty for California and every state or community that thought they had a true partner in the federal government,” Feinstein said in an analysis published on her official website. “The president does not seem to understand that cutting vital investments in our communities and our economy will never lead to a balanced budget.”
The senior senator took issue with Trump’s proposed elimination of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which pays back counties for the cost of locking up non-citizens convicted of crimes.
“This cut is utterly illogical and would force state and local law enforcement to divert funds from hiring and training officers,” Feinstein said. “Local law enforcement should not be punished for Congress’s failure to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.”
Trump’s request to spend $2.6 billion to expand the wall along the Southern border runs counter to his campaign promise to force Mexico to pay for it, Feinstein pointed out.
“Mexico won't pay for the wall so the president’s budget calls for the American people to foot the bill for the lawyers needed to battle private landowners in court,” she wrote.
“I couldn’t be more disappointed that President Trump has used his first budget proposal to prioritize the border wall—his pet project—and a deportation force over critical support for state and local law enforcement,” Feinstein added. “He repeatedly promised during the campaign to support local police and this budget breaks that promise.”
Trump’s full spending plan won’t be submitted until later this spring. The president’s blueprint marks the beginning of a months-long process, which goes through the House and Senate appropriations committees, to come up with a budget for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1.
Ultimately, Congress decides how to spend federal dollars. And already, analysts are calling the proposal dead on arrival.
Click here to read Trump’s entire 62-page budget proposal.