Trump Blasted on Meals on Wheels Cuts
Huffington Post – President Donald Trump is coming under fire for proposing a budget that includes the complete elimination of federal funding for Meals on Wheels programs.
Meals on Wheels provides food to the elderly, poor, veterans, disabled and others who often can’t leave their homes.
However, under the proposed budget, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s entire $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program would be eliminated, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The grants fund services for low-income Americans ― including grants for Meals on Wheels programs.
U.S. Judge Blocks New Travel Ban Executive Order
BBC News – US District Judge Derrick Watson cited “questionable evidence” in the government’s argument that the ban was a matter of national security.
President Trump described the ruling as “unprecedented judicial overreach”.
The order would have placed a 90-day ban on people from six mainly Muslim nations and a 120-day ban on refugees.
Mr Trump insists the move is to stop terrorists from entering the US but critics say it is discriminatory.
Judge Watson said the court had established a strong likelihood that, were the ban to go ahead, it would cause “irreparable injury” by violating First Amendment protections against religious discrimination.
Hawaii state had argued that the ban would harm tourism and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.
The 43-page ruling argued that a “reasonable, objective observer” taking into account the context of the Executive Order would conclude it “was issued with a purpose to disfavour a particular religion”.
Historic Cuts Across Government to Fund Defense
Bloomberg – President Donald Trump is proposing historically deep budget cuts that would touch almost every federal agency and program and dramatically reorder government priorities to boost defense and security spending.
The president’s fiscal 2018 budget request, which will be formally delivered Thursday to Congress, would slash or eliminate many of the Great Society programs that Republicans have for decades tried to peel back while showering the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security with new resources.
Some of the deepest cuts are reserved for the agencies and programs Trump has often derided. The State Department would be hit with a 28 percent reduction below fiscal 2016 levels that mainly targets international aid and development assistance; the Environmental Protection Agency would face a 30 percent reduction. Also in the crosshairs are agriculture programs, clean energy projects and federal research funding.
White House Wants to Privatize Air Traffic Control
Reuters – President Donald Trump is proposing to shift oversight of the U.S. air traffic control from the federal government to an independent group, according to budget documents released on Thursday.
Trump, who called the U.S. air traffic control system “obsolete” in a meeting with airline executives last month, is proposing $16.2 billion for the Department of Transportation’s discretionary budget for fiscal year 2018, a reduction of 13 percent.
Some Transportation Department budget items are paid through the highway gas tax fund.
The document says Trump’s plan “initiates a multi-year reauthorization proposal to shift the air traffic control function of the Federal Aviation Administration to an independent, non-governmental organization.”
Privatization advocates argue that spinning off air traffic control into a non-government entity would allow for a more efficient system and rapid, cost-effective improvements of technology, in part by avoiding the government procurement process.