For Immediate Release
(May 23, 2017, Washington, D.C.)- The Trump Administration released its FY 2018 budget proposal today, reaffirming the drastic cuts set out in the March budget blueprint. We are profoundly disappointed that the Administration continues to seek the elimination of critical programs such as the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). NASCSP Executive Director Jenae Bjelland said:
“While we have deep concerns about this budget proposal, we recognize that Congress ultimately makes funding decisions. CSBG and WAP are proven programs and we are confident the members of Congress will stand with the over 43 million Americans living in poverty who would be harmed by these cuts.”
CSBG continues to be a mainstay in 99% of counties across the country and is uniquely structured to ensure States and over 1,000 local Community Action Agencies have the flexibility needed to address the specific needs of their community. The program served over 15 million people in 2016, delivering diverse services such as job training, education, and housing. In addition to flexibility and focus on local needs, the CSBG Network has implemented a Performance Management Framework to ensure accountability and increased collection and use of data at all levels to produce results.
The WAP has served over 7.4 million households since its inception in 1976. Through home energy efficiency improvements, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and families with children save money each month and live in healthier, safer environments. WAP is a sound investment in our residential infrastructure, with a recent evaluation by Oak Ridge National Laboratory finding that for every Weatherization dollar spent by DOE, the program returned $4.10 in energy efficiency, health, and safety benefits. Funding cuts would not only harm energy burdened households, but also undermine the thousands of American jobs supported by weatherization and related American industries.
The elimination of LIHEAP would leave our most vulnerable neighbors at risk in the brutal cold of winter and the extreme heat of summer. At least 70% of the 6 million households that received assistance in 2015 had either a child under age 5, someone with a disability, or an elderly resident.
We look forward to working with members of Congress who have demonstrated strong bi-partisan support for these programs. NASCSP will continue our education efforts through the use of data and outcomes. We will also work in collaboration with partners both in and outside of Washington, D.C. to defend our programs. We are committed to working with our leaders in Congress to craft a sensible budget that preserves funding for low-income programs and protects American families.
NASCSP represents the administrators of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) in all 50 states, DC, and five U.S. Territories. For more information visit www.nascsp.org
Media Contact: Eric Behna (firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-370-3662)