On President Trump’s Budget Proposal

In response to President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, said the following:

“On January 21st, President Donald Trump pledged in his inaugural address that every decision he made would be to benefit America’s workers. Now, less than two months later, he has proposed a draconian budget for the Department of Labor that almost entirely betrays that promise and is virtually a complete breach of faith with America’s workers.

“The Trump budget would gut the very job training programs that workers need to develop the skills required to compete in emerging fields and fill many of the high-paying jobs available now and projected for the future. It would walk us back decades on worker safety and health, including eliminating critical grant training programs to workers in the most dangerous jobs, leading to more injury, illness, and death.

“And to top it off, the budget proposes to cease federal funding for legal services to the poor altogether, dramatically hobbling low-income workers’ ability to receive legal assistance to vindicate their rights on the job and to ensure that they receive the types of public benefits they are entitled to by virtue of living in poverty.

“There are a few positive elements related to reemployment services and apprenticeship. But even here, the devil is in the details, and we need to see them to know whether or how they will benefit workers.

“Overall, the Trump budget reflects a poorly conceived intention to abandon millions of workers struggling to get a toehold in our economy and those whose rights on the job are best protected with an effective government watchdog on their side. It is not what workers expected from a candidate who ran as their champion, and it is as contrary to Mr. Trump’s inaugural pledge as it could be. NELP will join in the fight to ensure that Congress enacts a fair and just budget – one that truly has the backs of all our nation’s workers.”


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