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Trump Budget Cuts Funding For Meals On Wheels

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President Donald Trump's new budget proposal makes deep cuts to community programs like Meals on Wheels, but finds money to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The new budget proposal eliminates $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant, which supports a wide range of projects in cities and towns around the country, including funding assistance for programs like Meals on Wheels.

"We are depending on this money to survive," said Fran Forman, director of the Community Action Commission in Santa Maria, California, which provides meals to 200 seniors, according to the American Progress in 2013 -- the grant was facing decreased funding then, as well.

While programs like Meals on Wheels will likely see drastic cuts, Trump's budget proposal sets aside $4.1 billion for the construction of a southern border wall.

But the $4.1 billion is believed to be only a "down payment" for the wall, according to NBC News, as it falls short of the expected $22 billion price tag for the controversial project.

Trump also wants more funding for increased border protection, including 1,700 more border patrol officers and an increase in prosecutors and judges for illegal immigration courts.

According to USA Today, Trump wants $80 million to hire 75 new immigration judges to handle deportation cases, 60 more border enforcement prosecutors, and 40 new deputy U.S. marshals.

And in order to make sure the federal government has rights to the land along the southwest border, Trump wants to hire 20 new attorneys to litigate future cases involving land rights in that area.

While Trump seeks increased funding to fight illegal immigration, he also wants to make deep cuts in several federal agencies.

The hardest hit will be the Environmental Protection Agency, which could see its budget shrunk by 31 percent, according to The New York Times.

Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the proposed budget reflects Trump's campaign promises.

"We wrote it using the president’s own words," Mulvaney said, according to Politico. "We went through his speeches, we went through articles that have been written about his policies ... and we turned those policies into numbers."

Trump is expected to face resistance to his budget from Democrats, but he could also see some Republicans who oppose increased spending on things like the construction of a border wall.

"Billions of dollars on a wall is not the right way to proceed," said Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to Politico.

"We shouldn't just build a wall and add billions of dollars because that's what somebody said should be done," said Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma.

"We can't pay for it out of thin air," he added.

Sources: Politico, The New York Times, USA Today, American Progress / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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