Last week, President Trump released his proposed budget for the federal government, which includes cuts or complete shut-downs of many programs that serve communities across the U.S.. Many of the changes outlined in this budget will negatively affect refugee-serving agencies in ways supporters may not have expected. Here are a few of those changes we have noticed, so far.
It is important to note that the President’s budget is just a suggestion. Congress sets the budget, so it is critical to contact your elected officials to show your support for these programs.
Refugee-Supporting Programs Listed for Cuts in the President’s Budget:
- Corporation for National and Community Service: Facing complete shutdown. This includes the AmeriCorps, SeniorCorps, RefugeeCorps and similar programs. Currently, at least three CRSA members use AmeriCorps members in their offices. Here is advice on how you can show your support for CNCS.
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): Facing $3 billion in cuts. Funding for important programs for refugees including financial literacy come through this program. Here is some messaging on CDBG.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program: Facing $3.4 billion in cuts. Funds help elderly and low-income people pay heating and power bills. There is a national movement to save LIHEAP.
- 21st Century Community Learning Center: Facing cuts. Funds afterschool and summer school programs. Lutheran Services and New American Pathways have an outstanding grant proposal for this funding. Afterschool Alliance is organizing support for 21st Century.
Budget work starts in the House, so it is important to call your representative early and often about the programs you support!
If you don’t know who your representative is, you can find them by going to VoteSmart.org and putting in your zip code (you may also need to put in your plus four). Vote Smart will tell you your legislator’s district and Washington phone number!