Trump’s Budget Drastically Increases Nuclear Weapons Spending while Slashing Key Domestic Programs February 13, 2020

President Trump’s $4.8 trillion federal budget request includes broad and deep cuts to a range of domestic social programs including cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), student loan forgiveness programs at the Department of Education, and vital economic security programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, some of the most extreme cuts are to healthcare programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s Premium Tax Credit. The Congressional Progressive Caucus Center (CPCC) warns, “Under the Budget, uninsurance would increase among the working class, and Americans would spend even more out of pocket on health care than they do right now.”The President’s proposal aims to cut over $750 billion in Medicare funding over the next 10 years. Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the ACA’s Premium Tax Credit would be cut by over $1 trillion over the same 10 year period, with proposed cuts to Medicaid alone reaching $920 billion over the next decade. According to the CPCC, “This includes large cuts in the matching funding available to states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA, along with a new federal mandate that would require states to impose work requirements on Medicaid beneficiaries.”


Meanwhile, the President’s budget request doubles down on his increases in defense spending, including hefty increases for nuclear weapons spending in both the Defense Department ($28.9 billion) and the National Nuclear Security Administration ($19.8 billion), a 20 percent increase from the NNSA FY20 estimate. Combined, the budget requests for nuclear weapons programs total $46 billion.


When the Office of Management of Budget attempted to lower NNSA’s budget request to $17.5 billion, NNSA administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty argued that the move would amount to “unilateral disarmament” and would result in cutting “NNSA’s modernization program in half.”

The bottom line is: instead of addressing the vital needs of American families or tackling urgent issues like health care and the climate crisis, the Trump budget proposes drastic cuts to vital programs and services while further bloating our already exorbitant spending on nuclear weapons. Despite these setbacks, PSR remains committed to working with partner organizations, local and federal government entities, and the citizens to achieve a world free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

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