Press Release

AFT President Randi Weingarten Responds to Trump Administration’s Budget Proposal

For Release:


Elena Temple

WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten today issued the following statement upon release of President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2021 budget proposal:

“This budget proposal tells the American people everything they need to know about President Trump’s priorities, because the things that matter most to Americans—like providing their families a path to a better life, economic security and a voice in democracy—are on the chopping block. It proposes:

  • Cuts to healthcare
  • Cuts to Social Security
  • Cuts to higher education access and workforce training
  • Cuts to public education and other cuts to children by turning public education funding into a block grant, expanding vouchers and slashing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Cuts to housing

“And for what? Further tax cuts for the wealthy, money for Trump’s border wall, and a $5 billion voucher scheme to funnel taxpayer money out of public schools and into private schools. Trump’s values aren’t the people’s values.

"Working people have an affordability crisis. Their wages are being squeezed and their costs are going up, yet this budget cuts every social safety net program that would help. It slashes Medicare, Medicaid and prescription drugs; public education; student loan assistance; affordable housing; and food security programs—reflecting the president’s political war on the federal safety net. It also turns the reduced K-12 funding into a $19.4 billion block grant, which is simply code for less funding to the schools and communities that need it most. Congress worked hard to increase funding for Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by $1 billion last year, only to see Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos try to take it away here.

“In his State of the Union address last week, Trump preached a litany of lies, claiming his agenda was pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth and, most of all, pro-American. Yet, just one week later, he’s unveiled a budget that cuts billions of dollars from all the programs that would advance such goals. These cuts aren’t just numbers on a page, they’re a signal from this White House that the government isn’t going to spend money on making life better for the people it serves.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.