CONGRESSMAN BISHOP STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT’S FY20 BUDGET REQUEST
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement concerning the release of the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget Request:
“Yesterday, the President released his FY 2020 Budget Request. Similar to the past years, it proposes increases to defense spending at the expense of vital domestic programs. Having a better equipped and more prepared military is integral to our national defense; however, we must prioritize both our non-defense and defense needs.
“Presidential Budget Requests are a statement of values and priorities. The President had promised to reduce the deficit, but the truth is this budget, in addition to the newly implemented tax law, dramatically increases deficits over the next decade. This is in stark contrast to the administration’s stating that the tax cuts law would pay for itself. Rather, the budget request seeks to cut vital domestic programs like an astonishing $845 billion in Medicare, 21 percent funding drop for the USDA, a reckless $8.6 billion for border fencing, 31 percent reduction to the Environmental Protection Agency, and a 10 percent cut to the Education Department.
“As Chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FDA and other agencies, I am deeply concerned with the proposed cuts and program eliminations that would adversely impact farmers, the safety of our food, rural communities, and those in need of government assistance. The White House proposes a 17 percent decrease from the 2019 enacted level, a cut of $4 billion to these agencies.
“Furthermore, the White House Budget Request seeks to significantly cut and restructure the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program. Under the White House’s proposal, SNAP would face cuts of $271 billion over the next 10 years. Once again, the administration is attempting to implement a Harvest Box which restricts family nutritional choice, and partially replaces it with government picked food boxes for SNAP recipients. I have significant concerns over the logistics of such a program, and its ability to cater to individualized nutritional and health requirements. Furthermore, socializing food choice would take away business from local grocery stores and further contribute to the prevalence of food deserts in low income communities. In addition, this budget request slashes crop insurance, and tightens the commodity program eligibility limits all while farmers are still struggling from retaliatory trade tariffs, devastation from natural disasters and a hurtful government shutdown.
“Fortunately, this is just beginning of the FY 2020 budget process, and although I am pleased to see the proposed increases in military and veterans budgets, I’m very concerned regarding the administration’s proposals towards our domestic programs. The power of the purse ultimately lies with the Congress, and as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues to enact a budget that is both responsible and fair for all Americans and I urge the administration to put pragmatic, reality based proposals forward so we can pass grounded legislation for Americans.”