Politics & Government

Wolf tells legislators to put Pennsylvanians before Trump in federal budget talks

As Congress on Tuesday inched closer toward agreement on the spending bill, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation, urging them to prioritize their constituents above the pressure of the president and congressional leaders.
As Congress on Tuesday inched closer toward agreement on the spending bill, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation, urging them to prioritize their constituents above the pressure of the president and congressional leaders. Centre Daily Times, file

In a letter to the Pennsylvania congressional delegation, Gov. Tom Wolf is urging the legislators to remember who they serve.

Wolf told the elected officials that proposed cuts in President Donald Trump’s budget plan would hurt Pennsylvanians, saying the president “seems intent on waging war on those who are struggling.

“Opposing the president’s proposed reductions for the remainder of this fiscal year is especially critical because in many cases they would lock-in the disastrous budget blueprint, which would slash $54 billion in federal support to states including particularly the social programs which help Americans access health care and education benefits,” Wolf wrote. “The budget blueprint, which was announced in mid-March, shocked members of both parties in the degree to which its cuts were targeted at Americans who can least afford them.”

Washington is facing a looming deadline of Friday to pass the president’s proposal or a stopgap measure. If neither happens, the government could go into shutdown mode, something that has happened in recent years when the executive and legislative branches locked horns.

“As an executive, Gov. Wolf should be aware that the president’s budget request is simply that — a request,” Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Howard Township, said in response to the governor’s letter. “ While the final spending package for Fiscal Year 2017 continues to be debated this week, there are certainly areas outlined by Gov. Wolf that hold mutual interest and great support across the commonwealth because of the positive impacts these programs have in our local communities.”

In his letter, Wolf detailed impacts to education, Community Development Block Grants, mental health services, WIC nutrition programs and the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program that helps keep homes warm, among others.

“Moving forward, my support will remain strong for those programs that best serve Pennsylvania and the constituents of the 5th Congressional District,” Thompson said.

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