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Trump Anxiety

Social service providers and scientists warily watch the federal budget battle.

by James Leonard

From the September, 2017 issue

"We're one of the Trump elimination programs," says Bob Gillett, director of the Michigan Advocacy Program. Board member Charlie Borgsdorf says that if Congress accepts the president's request, 3,000 people MAP currently helps would lose legal services.

Gillett is one of many Ann Arborites keeping a worried eye on this month's budget debate in Washington. Ellen Rabinowitz, health officer of Washtenaw County Public Health, emails that two programs vital to the poor, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and food stamps (SNAP), are up for renewal. The president's budget also targets many federal grants to social service nonprofits. "The impacts would be mostly on the poorest and most marginalized communities," she writes, "and in some cases could mean the difference between life and death."

Trump isn't sparing MDs and PhDs: his proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health would cost the U-M $92 million. "In 2016, we had 1,386 projects funded by the NIH," says Jack Hu, VP for research. If Congress passes the president's budget, "thousands of people will lose their jobs." Science supporters around the country rallied after the budget was released, and the version approved in committee doesn't currently include the cuts. But, says Hu, "the worst could still happen."

"It's unlikely that the Trump budget will pass" as submitted, says Gillett. "But who thought Trump was gonna get elected?"    (end of article)

[Originally published in September, 2017.]

 



 
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