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Legislative Viewpoint

Let’s keep our promises to seniors, families, and people with disabilities

Warren Official PortraitSenator Elizabeth WarrenOne of my top priorities since joining the U.S. Senate in 2013 has been fighting to ensure seniors and people with disabilities have the support they need to live with dignity and economic security.

Today I’m really worried about the new federal budget proposed by President Donald Trump’s Administration. The president’s proposed budget would take a meat ax to many important programs that directly benefit people in Massachusetts. For example, President Trump’s budget would:

  • Eliminate federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps about 120,000 Massachusetts households with elderly family members, people with disabilities, and young children stay warm during the cold winter months.
  • Slash funding by more than 25 percent for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which last year helped feed 779,000 people in Massachusetts, nearly half of whom are in families with members who are elderly or who have disabilities.
  • Cut more than $70 billion from vital income assistance programs for people with disabilities – including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Eliminate the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which helps organizations right here in Franklin County and across the Commonwealth provide essential services like Meals on Wheels.
  • Eliminate the Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE) health counseling program. This program last year helped about 75,000 people across Massachusetts navigate basic health plans like Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, Prescription Advantage, Health Safety Net and other programs. Thanks to SHINE and the program’s more than 600 trained volunteers, many seniors and families across the Commonwealth were able to access free health insurance counseling.

This budget proposal is wrongheaded and reckless. And it comes just after House Republicans passed their health care repeal bill, legislation that would slash Medicaid spending by $834 billion. These are cuts that would directly hurt people with disabilities, working families, babies, and seniors in nursing homes. Why make these cuts? All so that Congress can give giant tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

These are the wrong priorities for our country. The federal government should invest in America’s families, to make sure that every person has a real opportunity to build a future – we should not break the promises we’ve made to seniors, families, and people with disabilities. To defeat this budget, all of us must fight back. As Senator from Massachusetts and as a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Special Committee on Aging, I’m staying focused on these fights every day. I hope you will join me.

If you would like to contact me about any issues you’re concerned about, or if you need help with a federal agency, please don’t hesitate to call my Western Massachusetts office in Springfield at 413-788-2690 or email me.