Ohio lawmakers react to President's fiscal year 2019 budget - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio lawmakers react to President's fiscal year 2019 budget

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U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement on the release of the White House budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 that would cut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) from $300 million to $30 million in the upcoming year.
"I've successfully helped lead the effort to restore full funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative after both Republican and Democratic administrations have proposed cuts to the program, and I will do so again this year. The Great Lakes are an invaluable resource to Ohio, and this initiative has been a successful public-private partnership that helps protect both our environment and our economy. As the world's largest freshwater body, the Great Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people, contribute $10 billion in tourism each year, and support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region.  I have long championed this program, and I will continue to do everything I can to protect and preserve Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes, including preserving this critical program and its funding." 

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement in response to the White House budget out Monday, which slashes critical Ohio priorities. Regardless of the White House Budget, Congress will continue working to implement the bipartisan budget agreement announced last week.

Brown will fight for Ohio priorities throughout that process.

"Instead of investing in Ohio communities so they can grow and create jobs, the President's budget asks Ohioans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires by gutting Great Lakes programs and eliminating economic development," said Brown. "Congress already put forward a bipartisan compromise that will make critical investments in fighting the opioid epidemic and give Ohio families and businesses the certainty they deserve. I will continue fighting for Ohio priorities as we work to implement that bipartisan compromise over the coming weeks."
Last week, Brown supported a long-term budget compromise that provides certainty for Ohio families, businesses and military installations for two years.

The compromise included agreement on broad spending levels for the next two years and a bill to keep the government open while Congress writes specific legislation to allocate that funding between now and March 23rd. Brown will continue fighting for Ohio priorities throughout that process, including asking that states who have been hit hardest by the opioid crisis are first in line.  
President Trump's budget would:
·         Take away Medicaid, Ohio's number one tool in the fight against opioids.
·         Slash support for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) by more than $350 million.
·         Cut the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) by $270 million, and make cuts to other clean water programs.
·         Cut funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund by over $200 million. The CDFI Fund provides technical assistance to local programs and organizations that draw new sources of capital to their communities. 
President Trump's budget proposes eliminating the following programs:
·         Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low-income families and seniors heat and cool their homes.
·         Economic Development Administration (EDA), which helps Ohio communities fund needed projects and create jobs.
·         Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a public-private partnership consisting of MEP centers throughout all 50 states. Brown has been a strong supporter of the MEP, which provides approximately $5 million a year to Ohio's 7 MEP centers. These centers help small and medium-sized manufacturers increase sales and achieve cost-savings.
·         Community Services Block Grant, which provides support to low-income families.  
·         Community Development Block Grant, which provides critical support to Ohio communities.
·         Department of Transportation TIGER Grant Program, which provides multimodal investments to revitalize cities and promote freight movement, and the Capital Investment Grant program, which expands rail and bus transit services. Multiple Ohio communities have benefited from these programs,              and new applications, like Columbus's Rickenbacker Inland Port Interstate Connector and Youngstown's Smar2t Corridor, would be prevented from applying for funds.
·         Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which provides student loan forgiveness for certain student borrowers who serve a requisite number of years in public service.

 Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement regarding President Trump's infrastructure plan:

"America is long overdue for an upgrade to our outdated, and in some cases crumbling infrastructure, which has been neglected for decades. I am heartened to see that a significant chunk of the money in the President's plan would be invested in rural America. Those of us in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio are well-aware of the many challenges we face with the condition of our bridges, roads, water systems, sewer systems, and limited access to broadband.
"Importantly, the President aims to speed environmental reviews. These reviews are important and should be done; however, they should be done efficiently, rather than impeding progress by dragging on for years and years.  Washington should not be an obstacle to getting projects completed – it should be a partner with the states.
"Congress must now work together to pass meaningful legislation. The Energy and Commerce Committee has been working hard on promoting broadband deployment to rural America and improving our energy infrastructure, and we've set an example for the rest of our colleagues. Many Democrats have acknowledged the need to work together to find a legislative solution to address our infrastructure problems - now they will have an opportunity to put actions to their words."

Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement in response to President Trump's second budget proposal.

"Until just days ago, a Republican Congress and a Republican President spent the first four months of this fiscal year stumbling through five temporary funding bills, utterly failing the most basic duty of Congress – keeping the government open. The idea that the current majority party in the House could follow through on anything even resembling regular order as it relates to setting a budget for the Federal Government is laughable. The only function the President's budget proposal serves is to remind us how completely out of whack his priorities are for the American people. He would add over $7 trillion dollars to the national deficit over the next decade -- $984 billion in the next year alone, and stick the middle class with the bill. It is a non-starter. I stand ready to get to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on a realistic budget that properly funds our defense and important programs families rely on," said Congressman Ryan.

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