Lowey and Local Advocates Reject Trump Budget Cuts

April 5, 2019
Press Release

President wants to decimate investments in clean water and afterschool education that benefit 10’s of 1000’s in Lower Hudson Valley

Westchester and Rockland families can’t afford Administration’s proposals that threaten pocketbooks and public health

WHITE PLAINS, NY Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Westchester and Rockland leaders in the fields of education, the environment, health care, and community development today discussed the dangerous impacts of the Trump fiscal year 2020 budget proposal. They appeared at the White Plains Youth Bureau’s after school program at Post Road School to highlight proposed cuts to various federal programs, including educational enrichment initiatives that give families safe, low-cost after school care.

“During my time on the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve never seen an administration submit budgets more disconnected from reality than what we’ve seen from President Trump,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “He has proposed to decimate investments that educate our children, build our communities, and invest in our economy, while wildly neglecting the safety, security, and well-being of hardworking New York families.”

The President’s budget puts working families in the Lower Hudson Valley at risk with dramatic cuts to these programs, among others:

  • Fifty percent cut to Federal Work Study, which provides part-time jobs for enrolled students, allowing them to earn money to help cover education expenses and reduce student debt.
  • A $1.22 billion nationwide elimination of afterschool enrichment that helps 87,000 New Yorkers. This initiative, known as 21st Century Learning Centers, is the only federal funding source dedicated exclusively to supporting afterschool, before-school, and summer learning centers, and began as a pilot program Lowey helped create in the mid-1990s.
  • Elimination of the Long Island Sound regional program at the Environmental Protection Agency, which was funded at $14 million in fiscal year 2019. 

Frank Williams, executive director of the White Plains Youth Bureau which administers the federally supported after school program at the district’s five elementary schools and two community centers, said: “The White Plains Youth Bureau’s 21st Century Community Learning Center’s STEAM Academy Grant has served 1,000 children over the last two years. More than 90 percent are Hispanic. The 5-year grant provides $800,000 in funding annually and provides children with a plethora of learning experiences including Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Children have been engaged in Robotics, flying drones, hands on science, engineering, and project-based learning. As a result of the program, students have shown increased problem-solving skills, higher engagement in their school experience, and more confidence with testing and homework.”

East Ramapo Central School District Superintendent Dr. Deborah L. Wortham said: “The 21st Century Community Learning Center (21CCLC) funding stream supports a variety of after-school programs for nearly 400 high school students in East Ramapo, from academic tutoring to enrichment classes in robotics, coding and nursing. We know these programs enhance student performance and complement classroom learning. At a time when students are hungry for more productive opportunities, I call on the federal government to preserve and grow 21CLCC funding. Any cuts will have a direct, negative impact on our children.”

Nancy Seligson, co-chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Long Island Sound Study and Supervisor of the Town of Mamaroneck, said: “Restoring and protecting Long Island Sound is a big job that affects the quality of life of millions of Americans. We need more funding, not less, to clean the water to make it safe for swimming and abundant with wildlife.”

Diane Serratore, executive director of People to People in Rockland, said: “The budget cuts proposed by the President show heartbreaking disregard for the most vulnerable among us including low-income working families, single parents, seniors, veterans, disabled, survivors of domestic abuse and others. Currently, People to People helps put food on the tables of more than 4,000 struggling Rocklanders every month. Currently, more than 40,000 low-income Rocklanders utilize SNAP. Those affected by cuts in SNAP will turn to nonprofits such as People to People for help, and we simply don’t have the resources to do what our government should do – assure the basic needs of all of us.” 

Catherine Wilson, National Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador for Lowey’s Congressional District, said: “Today more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. It is the only major cause of death that cannot be prevented or cured. Alzheimer's has no survivors. Thus, it is critically important that our nation continue to invest in the research to find a cure. As someone who has had multiple members of my family impacted by this disease, I am extremely grateful to Rep. Lowey and other bipartisan champions in Congress who have made increasing NIH research funding a priority.”

Greg Maher, executive director of the Leviticus Fund, said: “The CDFI Program provides growth money to nonprofit lenders like the Leviticus Fund, allowing us to borrow private capital and to provide flexible, low-cost capital to projects that provide new opportunities to, and directly assist, vulnerable individuals and families.  The program has had broad bipartisan support for over 20 years. Leviticus is grateful for Chairwoman Lowey’s leadership in support of this vital resource.”

Joseph Trentacoste, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Services at Mercy College, said: “Mercy College is dedicated to helping high need, low-income students afford a degree in higher education. The recent proposed budget cuts to the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and Federal Work Study programs will have an immediate effect on the students we serve. Over the past 5 years, Mercy has administered nearly $6 million to over 3,300 students from these two programs alone, helping our neediest students towards their dreams of a degree. The elimination of SEOG and cutting of Work Study by more than half, coupled with the proposed stagnation of Pell Grant funding will directly affect the students who need that funding the most.”

As Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, the committee that writes all spending bills, Lowey has consistently worked on a bipartisan basis to reject Trump’s past budget requests. Despite this Administration’s extreme proposals and policies, she is committed to writing appropriations bills that responsibly fund the government.

“In the same budget that threatens these initiatives families rely on to make ends meet and preserve their quality of life, Trump proposed wasting $8.6 billion on the border wall that experts believe is not the best way to protect our security,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “The investments that this administration proposes to cut play a big role in empowering New Yorkers, giving children a good start in life and providing economic opportunity for people across Rockland and Westchester. There is simply no justification for these harsh cuts.”