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Trump Administration Budget Slashes Support for Young Adults

May 23, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202.734.6510

Trump Administration Budget Slashes Support for Young Adults

Today, the Trump Administration released its FY18 budget proposal, which includes severe cuts  to a number of programs millions of young people are using to build a better life for themselves, their families, and our national economy. This budget would restrict their access to health care, higher education, and valuable job training, making our generation less financially stable.

Reid Setzer, Government Affairs Director for Young Invincibles, released the following statement, as well as the following analysis on programs cut within health care, higher education, workforce training and financial security:

“This budget is grossly out of step with the needs of young people and the priorities of most members of Congress. It fails to invest in young people and the future of our country, by slashing opportunities for young adults to gain skills through education, sustain themselves and their families, and contribute to our workforce.

Most alarmingly, this budget proposes cutting $616 billion dollars from Medicaid and CHIP, on top of the $800 billion in cuts the American Health Care Act, a bill the Administration has endorsed, would make. Nearly 4 million young adults gained access to health care through Medicaid expansion. Taking away their coverage as they work toward financial security is harsh and self-defeating.

Moreover, the budget strips away supports for students and young workers, making completing and succeeding in our economy even more difficult. It cuts Pell, terminates federal funding for on-campus childcare and halves support for Federal Work Study, which gives students the opportunity to work while they attend college. We know that those students who take on debt, but are unable to complete their degrees, are often in the worst financial circumstances. This budget would put more of our generation in those dire financial circumstances, and make it harder for students to pay off their debt. The bill also underfunds job training programs and career and technical education, essential to address the middle-skill jobs gap and fully develop the next generation of American workers.

The Administration has made a clear statement that it is not serious about addressing the needs of young people, and that it is willing to recklessly drain funding from programs they use the first major opportunity it gets.”

Health Care

  • Medicaid and CHIP: This budget comes in the wake of a disastrous Congressional health care proposal that would gut Medicaid by cutting over $800 billion from the program, eliminating health care for 10 million people and leave young people dramatically worse off. This budget doubles down on that brutal approach by slashing another $616 billion from Medicaid and CHIP. For over 50 years, Medicaid has delivered care to millions of young people, as well as children, the disabled, low-income Americans, and those suffering from addiction. To see such savage cuts to this program is not only a broken campaign promise-it will lead to preventable injuries and illnesses going untreated and make America a crueler place to live, work, and raise a family.

Higher Education

  • Pell Grants: The budget would leave the Pell Grant frozen and stagnant, further eroding its purchasing power for the nearly 8 million low- and moderate-income students that rely on it. The Trump budget cuts $3.9 billion from Pell, masking that cut by couching it in positive language around the restoration of Year-Round Pell, a recent bipartisan achievement, which does not need new or separate money to operate. Cutting money from Pell imperils the stability of the program and will make it more difficult to maintain and expand eligibility and enhance the Pell Grant’s future effectiveness.
  • CCAMPIS: The budget zeroes out the $15 million CCAMPIS program, which helps low-income parents in college afford on-campus childcare. One in four students are parents, and they take on more debt and have to juggle more responsibility than other students. Young parents should be able to pursue their degree without worrying about the safety and health of their children. Eliminating funding for this program fails to support parents who are working to make a better life for their families.
  • Federal Work Study: The budget nearly halves the amount of funding for the Federal Work Study program, cutting $488 million. Work study helps students pay for the costs of tuition and attendance and gain valuable work experience while enrolled. The vast majority of employers today expect real-world experience from college graduates when they evaluate potential hires. The budget accurately identifies issues with how the current formula could be improved to better assist low-income students-but instead of discussing how the program can be improved, the Administration just slashes funding and moves on.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: The budget would end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which at least over 550,000 borrowers have signed up for and are reliant upon for loan relief, with millions more eligible. Teachers, counselors, social workers, public defenders, medical professionals and other public servants, many of whom are required to take on post-graduate debt to obtain a necessary credential for their job, are filling essential jobs in communities nationwide. Mercifully, the Administration proposes making this change only to those taking out loans on or after July 1, 2018, and will not pull the rug out from under those already enrolled. However, eliminating the program could have damaging effects to underserved rural and urban communities alike, and increase the indebtedness of our generation, to the detriment of the American economy.
  • Career and Technical Education: This budget proposal contains language signaling intent to propose legislation to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. CTE is vital for both students and employers because it teaches young people valuable, in-demand skills that employers need and provides hands-on training. However, this budget only allocates $186 million to implement its reauthorization, while the previous Administration asked for double that amount for its reauthorization proposal. Currently, House Democrats and Republicans are working together on improving access to CTE and their bipartisan bill calls for over a billion dollars of annual investment. President Trump claims his priority is strengthening our economy, but underfunding CTE weakens our current and future workforce by limiting access to marketable skills.
  • Simplifying Repayment: Shortening the window for forgiveness of undergraduate loans to 15 years may prove to be a welcome move for many young people with student debt, and simplification of the existing system is a positive step. However, the lack of detail regarding this policy proposal is concerning, and the reform plan could raise monthly payments for a large portion enrolled through requiring a higher percentage of a borrower’s income to be paid. Extending the forgiveness period to 30 years for graduate loans combined with the elimination of PSLF is a recipe for lifelong financial difficulties for many borrowers.
  • Other Programs That Enable Degree Completion: Additionally, the Trump administration’s budget dramatically cuts $193 million from TRIO and GEAR UP,  as well as eliminating the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant program that goes to the neediest students in America. The budget also phases out subsidized federal loans, which help 6 million students a year who have to take out loans to get a degree pay less for college, and the Perkins loan program.

Workforce Training and Financial Security

  • WIOA: The budget cuts $1.3 billion from job training and employment service grants administered under the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which has bipartisan support as our nation’s primary job training system for people trying to develop marketable skills in the 21st century economy. The grants cover adult, youth, and dislocated workers, as well as employment service programs.
  • Limited Paid Family Leave: The budget proposes a non-comprehensive paid parental leave plan that gives less paid leave than the international average, is narrower than proposals that include non-parental caregivers, and would allow states to choose to participate or not.
  • National Service: The budget would eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which operates AmeriCorps and several other community service programs that employ over 80,000 workers a year and benefit hundreds of thousands of Americans. This elimination further limits options for young people looking to find work or serve their country.
  • Youth Job Development: The budget cuts Youth Activities from the Department of Labor budget by $394 million. Youth Activities Grants support a wide range of activities and services to prepare low-income youth for academic and employment success, including summer and year-round jobs. Investing in low-income young adults today can address widening financial disparities in the future, so cutting this program is unwise and short-sighted. However, the budget does maintain previous spending levels of $90 million on Apprenticeship Grants, which help states and industries expand apprenticeship opportunities for young people.
  • Housing: The budget eliminates the largest federal block grant dedicated to help state and localities address affordable housing needs, cutting the $948 million HOME Investment Partnerships Program, at a time young adults struggle to afford housing.

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