White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney has claimed that cuts to a scheme designed to feed the poor were “compassionate to the taxpayer”.
Community projects like Meals on Wheels are just some of the social welfare schemes which are set to lose their federal funding under the Trump administration’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.
President Donald Trump's plans include the elimination of the $3bn (£2.4bn) Community Development Block Grant Program which funds schemes like Meal on Wheels, housing assistance programmes and projects to improve public facilities like parks.
Mr Mulvaney defended the plans to get rid of the fund, which was first introduced by former President Gerald Ford in 1975 and has since won bipartisan support.
He said they could not “spend on programmes that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises we’ve made to people”.
He added the budget blueprint, which will also proposes increased funding for the military and an immediate $1.5bn (£1.2bn) cash injection for Mr Trump's proposed border wall, was “one of the most compassionate things we can do”.
At a White House briefing, he told reporters: “You're only focusing on half of the equation, right? You’re focusing on recipients of the money. We’re trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place.
“And I think it's fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we're not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore … unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually going to be used in a proper function. And I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.”
As well as the Community Development programme, 12 out of 15 federal departments will see their funding slashed.
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
1/9 Trump and the media
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
2/9 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC. Mr Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January announcing that the US would withdraw from the trade deal
3/9 Trump and the Mexico wall
A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. A signature campaign promise, Mr Trump outlined his intention to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border days after taking office
4/9 Trump and abortion
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House. Mr Trump reinstated a ban on American financial aide being granted to non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for abortion access outside of the United States
5/9 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation
6/9 Trump and 'Obamacare'
Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. US President Donald Trump's effort to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law failed when Republicans failed to get enough votes. Mr Trump has promised to revisit the matter
7/9 Donald Trump and 'sanctuary cities'
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to pull funding for so-called "sanctuary cities" if they do not comply with federal immigration law
8/9 Trump and the travel ban
US President Donald Trump has attempted twice to restrict travel into the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries. The first attempt, in February, was met with swift opposition from protesters who flocked to airports around the country. That travel ban was later blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The second ban was blocked by a federal judge a day before it was scheduled to be implemented in mid-March
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
9/9 Trump and climate change
US President Donald Trump sought to dismantle several of his predecessor's actions on climate change in March. His order instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, which would cap power plant emissions
The most gravely hit will be the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which will reportedly receive $2.5bn (£2bn) instead of the current $8.2bn (£6.7bn).
The EPA has been at war with the White House since Mr Trump's inauguration when it tweeted a picture comparison of the crowds at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration with Mr Trump’s earlier this year.
Mr Trump repeatedly insisted the crowd at his inauguration was the “biggest ever”, but the pictures showed a noticeably thinner attendance at his event.
More than 3,000 EPA workers could lose their jobs as programmes such as Mr Obama’s Clean Power Plan, aimed at tightening regulations on emissions from power plants, would be eliminated.
Popular state grants to protect local drinking and waste water would remain.
Mr Mulvaney defended the planned cuts to climate change programmes saying the White House “consider that to be a waste of your money”.
Mr Trump is a noted climate change sceptic who claimed it was a “hoax invented by the Chinese” during his election campaign.
Other departments which will be affected are Agriculture, Labour, Housing and State. Federal programmes like the National Endowment for the Arts.
Legal aid for the poor and low-income heating assistance will also likely be cut, if the proposals are approved in the House of Representatives.
The proposal only covers a quarter of the approximate $4tn (£3.3tn) federal budget and does not address taxes, social security, Medicare and Medicaid – the social health care programme for the country’s poorest.Reuse content