President Trump’s Budget – Just More of the Same

Yesterday, the President released his FY2019 budget proposal outlining his spending priorities at a deficit-busting $4.4 trillion. We know this budget is a non-starter and so hard to defend that even Trump’s budget director and former deficit hawk Mick Mulvaney called it a “messaging document.” His message makes clear that expanding opportunities for hard working Americans and the Latino community are not his priority. President Trump’s FY 2019 budget, if enacted, would harm American consumers, stifle small business growth, weaken Latino communities and wipe out financial reforms in place to prevent another financial crisis.

Hispanic-owned businesses represent the fastest growing segment among U.S. small business launches. By cutting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s budget by more than 25%, Trump threatens economic opportunity for Hispanic small business owners as well as aspiring entrepreneurs. This decrease means fewer resources to assist small business startups – making the American dream of entrepreneurship harder to attain and depriving our nation’s job creators the resources they need to spur economic growth.
Additionally, the President’s plan reduces affordable housing and economic development opportunities. The U.S. Hispanic population has been a key driver of the country’s population and reached a new high of 55.4 million in 2014. Given that rapid increase, our economic stability and future fiscal growth depends on having access to quality affordable housing and resources that ensure our viability. President Trump slashes the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by more than 14% and eliminates new funding for programs designed to increase the supply of affordable housing. It also eliminates the Community Development Financial Institution fund, the Community Development Block Grant, the Housing Trust Fund, and HOME Investment Partnerships programs – all initiatives that predominately serve low-income areas.

The Administration’s budget not only eliminates the resources and tools many Latino entrepreneurs have leveraged to be successful, but it also harms protections for American consumers. The proposed budget eliminates the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s independent funding and curtail its ability to protect consumers. The proposal also eliminates the independence of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and the Office of Financial Research – two entities that work to identify and mitigate systemic threats to our economy. These changes harm American consumers and make our country more vulnerable to economic catastrophe.

The President’s budget is a starting point for budget negotiations – “the President proposes and Congress disposes”. But with recently passed budget caps allow Congress to allocate more funding for domestic programs than the President has proposed. Nevertheless, this still means we still have work to do to advocate for programs crucial for our communities. It’s up to us to make the case for programs that are vital for working families and invest in Latino communities.
NALCAB will be organizing its next Advocacy Day on Capitol in May 2017, so stay tuned. In the meantime – Adelante!