Last week, the President released his budget proposal for FY 2019 (PDF). Unsurprisingly, the budget proposes steep cuts to the programs people with disabilities rely on, including the Independent Living Program! While it’s only a proposal, it does show us the areas we’ll have to continue fighting for. We need to make sure our voices are heard NOW before Congress begins the FY 2019 appropriations process!
First, the budget proposes cutting the Independent Living line item by $5 million.
CIDNY and other independent living centers have been asking for more funding because the program has been underfunded for years!
Also, despite promising not to cut Social Security, the proposed budget would cut $83 billion over 10 years.
The President’s budget proposal would also reduce spending on many other programs people with disabilities rely on. The HHS budget would be slashed by 21%. The Department of Education budget would be cut by 10.5%. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) would be cut by nearly 30% and restructured. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) would be defunded. Section 8 vouchers would be cut by nearly $1 billion; and more major funding cuts and changes to housing, education, and other important programs are proposed.
While this budget is terrible, Congress will likely not include many of these proposals in their appropriations bills. That said, it is still important that our members of Congress hear from us! We need to fight against any cuts that will negatively impact the Independent Living Program and people with disabilities.
Talk with your Senators and Representative and urge them not to accept Trump’s cuts to Independent Living. Talk to them about the value of Independent Living. Have them visit us! And make sure they know how important the programs we rely on are to their disabled constituents because more changes are on the way.
We need to reach Meeks, Meng, Velasquez, Jeffries, Clarke, Nadler, Donovan, Maloney, Espillat, Crowley, Serrano, and Engels. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) to be connected. Direct office contact information can be found at Contacting Congress. Can’t call? You can also text RESIST to 50409 or contact elected officials online. Take action today!