Walz, Rural Leaders Stand Resolute in Opposition to the President’s Budget Proposal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Tim Walz (MN-01) and rural leaders are standing up for southern Minnesotans by speaking out against the President’s budget proposal and the detrimental impact it would have on rural America:
“Southern Minnesota and America’s heartland have serious reasons to be concerned with the President’s budget outline. Minnesota’s farmers, middle-class families, seniors, veterans, small towns and our most vulnerable fellow citizens deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not neglected as this budget implies. I’m proud to stand with local leaders to ensure the voices of our rural communities are heard in the budget process, and I call on the Republican leadership in the House to listen to these voices and join us in fighting for rural America to produce a budget that matches our values. Together, we can grow our economy, expand opportunity, protect our ability to feed and fuel the world, pioneer a new energy future, and maintain vibrant places to live and raise our families,” said Rep. Walz.
Below are testimonials from rural leaders regarding the impact the President’ budget proposal would have on rural America:
Minda Nelson – President, Minnesota State College Student Association
"We live in a time where workforce demands and the American Dream both require higher education. President Trump's proposed budget will crush the dreams of thousands of Minnesotans who rely on programs that make college affordable. Our students often struggle to choose between paying rent or tuition. If we fail to keep the doors to higher education open, Minnesota will fall into an educational bankruptcy that will last for years."
Joseph E. Brown, Sr. – Superintendent, Fairmont Area Schools
"At a time when our nation needs more skilled workers, President Trump is proposing to cut state grants for career and technical education by $166 million. These proposed cuts will not "Make American Great Again". Just as Minnesota is currently experiencing a severe teacher shortage, it is expected that there will be a more serious shortage of skilled workers in the next three to five years in the areas of carpenters, welders, electricians and plumbers. Now is the time to invest additional public resources for high schools to expand their vocational classes so all students are career and college ready for a better future."
Nusheen Ameenuddin – MD, MPH, FAAP
“As a pediatrician in Southeast Minnesota, I see firsthand how Medicaid and CHIP benefit the kids I see in clinic every day. Cuts to these programs mean that my patient who is the child of a single mom working long shifts won't get his anti-seizure medicine covered and will end up in the Emergency Department as a result of uncontrolled seizures. It also means that the children from a farm family that I see won't have coverage for basic medical care, because private insurance is still too expensive for many who are self-employed. Multiply these stories by all the kids whose coverage would be cut off and we have ourselves a health care crisis that hurts the most vulnerable and voiceless - our children.”
Gary Wertish – President, MN Farmers Union
“In a time when farmers and agriculture are really struggling, President Trump’s budget proposal is extremely disappointing and will have a devastating impact on the rural economy and farmers.”
Kevin Paap – President, Minnesota Farm Bureau
“We need to work together to protect our nation’s first line of defense- food security. Drastically reducing USDA budgets, including a 36 percent cut to crop insurance, hurts agriculture and rural America.”
Gayle Kvenvold – President & CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota
“With Minnesotans living longer lives and rural areas such as southern Minnesota seeing unprecedented growth in their older population, the President’s proposed budget threatens our ability to age with dignity in places and communities we call home. The budget calls for enormous cuts in Medicaid – the very program that pays for the majority of care for frail seniors residing in nursing homes in Minnesota and the program that makes it possible for low-income seniors to receive supportive services that can help them live at home as long as possible. The President’s proposed budget puts the health and wellness of Minnesota seniors at risk.”
Dr. Zigang Dong – Executive Director, The Hormel Institute
“We know cancer touches every family and the only answer to the harm it inflicts is research leading to breakthroughs that will protect and extend lives. We urge all our lawmakers to support federal research funding through sources such as NIH or Department of Defense so that we may continue our important work.”
Brian Benshoof – Chief Executive Officer, MRCI WorkSource
“MRCI WorkSource clients rely on Medicaid to fund their supports for independence and full community participation, including employment. As citizens, we need to ensure all individuals (especially our most vulnerable fellow citizens whose voice may not be heard) are treated with respect and provided support to engage in employment and community activities.”