Impact on WNY of President Trump's budget

What The Proposed Budget Means For WNY

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- President Donald Trump's "budget blueprint" would have a significant impact on many programs that impact Western New Yorkers every day.

His proposal makes a dramatic shift, taking money from many domestic initiatives in order to pay for an increase in defense.

The blueprint calls for $54 billion in additional funding for the Pentagon, in addition to $4.5 billion more for security along the southern border.

Purely as a fiscal matter, that's not very beneficial to this region. New York ranks near the bottom in terms of federal military funding coming to the state. An increase to the Pentagon would not benefit Western New York as much as other parts of the country.

On the contrary, the domestic program cuts would have a big fiscal impact here.

In order to pay for the increased security funding, the blueprint calls for massive cuts to agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, the Labor Department, the Agriculture Department, Health and Human Resources, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, Housing and Urban Development and the Transportation Department.

There is some bipartisan worry.

"I heard outcry from both sides of the aisle," Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) said during a visit to Amherst Thursday. Schumer is the leader of the Democrats in the Senate.

2 On Your Side asked Schumer what will be specifically impacted in the Buffalo area if the President's proposal were to become reality.

"The money that we always use for the Great Lakes project is eliminated in this budget," Schumer said. "I'm sure we'll have Democrats and Republicans united to prevent that from happening."

Schumer is right. Republican Congressman Chris Collins of Clarence said in a statement that he also opposes cuts to funding for the Great Lakes.

Collins also agreed with Schumer that the cuts to medical research are too severe. The National Institutes of Health would see funding decrease by $5.8 billion.

"That affects Western New York dramatically with the (Buffalo) Medical Corridor and with U.B. doing all the great research that it does," Schumer said.

Collins was also critical of cuts to agriculture, the largest industry in his mostly rural district.

“Agriculture plays a significant role in Western New York’s economy," Collins said. "This budget eliminates the Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, which helps rural areas alleviate the financial burden of maintaining wastewater programs. I have always fought hard to support this program and this year will be no different."

President Trump's plan would also eliminate H.E.A.P., the Home Energy Assistance Program. It helped heat 175,620 homes in our 8-county region last fiscal year from October 2015 to September 2016.

Community Development Block Grants would also be eliminated nationwide. Buffalo receives millions of dollars a year from C.D.B.G.

Congressman Tom Reed, a Republican who represents the Southern Tier, said he is opposed to the C.D.B.G. cuts, among others.

Most Republicans shared similar sentiments, promising to fight some of the cuts. However, many, like Collins, supported the overall approach by the President.

"It demonstrates that President Trump is committed to keeping the promises he made to the American people," Collins said in the statement. "He will rebuild our military."

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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