Following the release of the President’s budget proposal today, Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5), the former co-chair of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition, issued the following statement:
“Slashing Pell grants by $4 billion and eliminating $2.4 billion for teachers? Seriously? Cutting more than 20 percent of the USDA’s budget, including cuts to the National Forest Service, food safety, rural development and conservation programs? Is this a joke? Cutting NOAA programs left and right like the Sea Grant program, which would be completely eliminated, and coastal research which would take a $250 million hit? You’ve got to be kidding me. And so much for the commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to fix our outdated infrastructure – this budget cuts our Transportation Department by 13 percent.
“Every member of Congress has a duty to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and I take that responsibility seriously. When I was in the Oregon State Legislature, I co-chaired the committee in charge of the state’s budget and we were able to come up with a bipartisan, responsible budget. But the Trump budget is a disaster that will literally leave our most vulnerable out in the cold. This budget doesn’t eliminate government waste, it cuts vital programs that are important to Oregonians. It makes me question whether the President has actually seen his own budget proposal.
“I’m not sure which is worse, slashing aimlessly at departments that provide necessary services to Oregonians like Meals on Wheels, or inflating an already bloated defense budget. If the President was serious about cutting waste and protecting taxpayer dollars, he would ask congress to pass my bill (HR 1326) that would force the Pentagon to release their internal report on $125 billion in wasteful DOD spending. We need to address the existing problems with the Pentagon’s budget before we increase it by 10 percent and slash all non-defense discretionary spending. This is a reckless and thoughtless budget designed only to fulfill aimless and fear-mongered campaign promises. I am all for fiscal responsibility and eliminating bureaucratic waste – this budget is not that.”
Congressman Schrader has long been a proponent of finding bipartisan solutions to cut bureaucratic waste, reduce our deficit and create a responsible budget. Prior to joining the US Congress in 2009, Rep. Schrader was chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee in the Oregon Legislature from 2003-2007. At the beginning of last Congress, he introduced the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act to adopt a two-year, biennial budgeting cycle to create a responsible budget with more reliable and thorough oversight of federal agencies.
More recently, Congressman Schrader reintroduced the Department of Defense Overhead Cost Savings and Transparency Act last month to declassify the entirety of a Pentagon report which revealed $125 billion in administrative waste and provide for expedited consideration of legislation to implement the report’s recommendations to cut or reallocate excess in their spending. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be holding a hearing next week on this report.