The South Bronx’s representative in Washington isn’t mincing words in proclaiming his opposition to the agenda of President Donald Trump, whose proposed budget he labeled “an insult to working families and a blow to the future of America.”
In a March 16 press release, Congressman José E. Serrano, who represents Hunts Point and Mott Haven in the House of Representatives, said he would “do everything I can to prevent such extreme cuts from taking place.”
“To claim that you will ‘Make America Great Again’ while ransacking the programs that invest in America’s competitiveness and leadership, spur scientific innovation, create jobs, protect our environment, and make quality education accessible for our future generations is an oxymoron,” Serrano said.
The veteran congressman underscored as especially harmful the president’s threats to cut the Environmental Protection Agency by $2.5 billion, or nearly a third of its budget; the Department of Labor by more than a fifth, or $2.5 billion; and the Department of Housing and Urban Development by $6.2 billion. Those cuts would devastate poor areas like the Bronx, Serrano said.
“Trump claims he is ‘draining the swamp,’ of special interests and cutting wasteful government spending,” Serrano said, but questioned the logic of increasing defense spending and building “a needless and expensive border wall” between the US and Mexico, while “disinvesting in the most important programs for our economic competitiveness.”
Serrano, the ranking Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, worried the proposal would hurt programs “critical for a robust economy and the protection of civil rights,” and would force the Department of Commerce to eliminate funding for the initiatives to enhance minority-owned businesses and manufacturing.
In addition, the proposed budget would “end funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which provides grants to local legal services providers who ensure that low-income individuals and families can assert their legal and constitutional rights.”