Colorado AFL-CIO on President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

Colorado AFL-CIO Executive Director Sam Gilchrist made the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

“The Trump budget revealed today makes deep cuts that will harm Colorado’s working people, seniors, young people, education system, environment, and much more. Rather than bolster programs that help our communities, the President’s proposal balances the budget on the backs of working families.

“An overall cut of $2.5 billion to the Department of Labor makes it harder for Colorado workers to get the training and support they need to advance in their industries and elimination of health and safety grants makes our workplaces less safe. Cuts to Health and Human Services equals cuts to programs that train healthcare workers in our communities and give assistance to low-income families who can’t afford to heat their homes in winter. Slashing $9.2 billion from the Department of Education eliminates funds for teacher trainings, grants that provide financial support to students who need it most, and puts the success of our public education system at risk. Cuts to funding for the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection agency not only mean less investment in our country’s infrastructure and environmental future, they mean less jobs for Coloradans.

“We call on Colorado’s congressional delegation to do right by their constituents and reject this budget. President Trump’s proposal jeopardizes the well-being of Colorado’s working families.”

Here are some key highlights:

Department of Labor: Overall cut $2.5 billion (-20.7%)

The budget makes it harder for workers to get the training they need in order to advance in their industry and to compete globally.

  • Major cuts:
    • Job training/employment/re-employment
    • Senior Community Service Employment Program eliminated
    • Job Corps
    • Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) grants eliminated
    • Safety and health training grants eliminated

Department of Health and Human Services: Overall cut $12.6 billion (-16.2%)

People suffering from terminal diseases will be affected by lack of new medicines, and low-income workers will not receive assistance to heat their homes during the cold months of winter.

  • Cuts National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by 18.3% (-$5.8 billion)
  • Eliminates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance to help low-income people heat and cool their homes
  • Eliminates $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs
  • Restructures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and directs money to states through block grants
  • Increases funding for opioid prevention and treatment services by $500 million

Department of Education: Overall cut $9.2 billion (-13.5%)

This budget would destroy public schools and eliminate much-needed training for teachers. It also makes it harder for young people to go to college.

  • Increases funding for school choice by $1.4 billion
    • Redirects $418 million to private/charter schools
    • Eliminates $2.4 billion for Supporting Effective Instruction state grants
    • Reduces or eliminates funding for teacher-preparation programs (State Teacher Quality/Supporting Effective Instruction grants)
    • Eliminates federal funding for before- and after-school and summer-school programs
    • Eliminates the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which provides grants for students with the greatest need

Department of State: Overall cut $10.9 billion (-28.7%)

The budget would harm workers around the world who are standing up to multinational corporations and repressive governments that restrict workers’ rights and lower wages.

  • Cuts funding for U.N. programs
  • Reorganizes and consolidates U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs

Department of Treasury: Overall cut of $0.5 billion (-4.4%)

These cuts allow the super-wealthy and corporations to get away with not paying taxes and allow big banks to crush small community banks.

  • Cuts IRS by $239 million
  • Eliminates funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

Department of Transportation: Overall cut $2.4 billion (-12.7%)

This will mean less investment in railroads and airlines at a time when our nation has an infrastructure deficit of over $4 trillion.

  • Privatizes air traffic control 
  • Restructures and cuts federal subsidies for Amtrak
  • Cuts funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant Program


This will mean more resources to enforce our nation’s trade laws. Our current trade policy has put corporations ahead of workers—resulting in jobs shipped overseas and lower wages.

  • Strengthens International Trade Administration’s trade enforcement/compliance assistance
  • Eliminates the Economic Development Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Environmental Protection Agency: Overall cut $2.6 billion (-31.4%)

These cuts will make our drinking water less safe and our air more toxic. 

  • Claims to maintain funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
  • Discontinues funding for Clean Power Plan
  • Reduces funding for Superfund cleanup
  • Eliminates 50 EPA programs
  • Cuts enforcement programs

Veterans Affairs: Overall increase $4.4 billion (+6.0%)

These funds provide much-needed resources for our nation’s veterans.

  • $4.6 billion increase for VA health care to improve access and timeliness of medical service
  • $3.5 billion in mandatory budget authority to extend and fund the Veterans Choice Program, which provides the option to see a private provider. The program was set to expire in August 2017.

Selected programs proposed for elimination

The budget targets for elimination arts and music programs and legal aid for the poor. Planning a future for the communities of Appalachia and protection from hazardous chemicals are also on the chopping block.

  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program
  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)