Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took aim at President Donald Trump for the proposed cuts to after-school programs, criticizing Trump for "robbing [children] blind."
At the National After-School Summit at the University of Southern California on April 6, Schwarzenegger was critical of the proposed $1.2 billion budget cut to student after-school programs, questioning the reasoning behind the move, according to CNN.
"President Trump promised us he wants to 'make America great again,'" said Schwarzenegger in front of hundreds of community leaders. "That's not how you make America great, by taking $1.2 billion from the children and robbing them blind."
After Trump's budget proposal was released in March, many voters and politicians voiced their concern over some of the suggested cuts. USA Today reported that Trump also plans to cut the Superfund toxic cleanup program by 30 percent as part of his cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. Areas with elevated levels of toxic substances in water or air are classified in the Superfund, and are allocated federal funds for cleanup.
White House budget chief Mike Mulvaney responded to criticism March 16 about the proposed cuts to after-school programs, claiming that there was "no demonstrable evidence" that after-school programs are helping children, according to PolitiFact. Mulvaney was directly responding to proposed cuts to programs that feed children at school.
"Mr. Mulvaney's phrase ‘doing better in school’ leads somewhat narrowly to the question of whether better nutrition fosters better grades and test scores," Ken Springer, a food expert at Southern Methodist University's School of Education told PolitiFact.
"It does, but when we focus specifically on better nutrition provided by afterschool programs, there's evidence that these programs can have other benefits, such as positively impacting students' knowledge about nutrition as well as their eating habits."
The National After-School Summit is spearheaded by Schwarzenegger and other community leaders who "will focus on why investing in after-school programs is so critical to helping our students succeed in school and in life," according to the program's website.
Schwarzenegger and Trump have had a public feud regarding "The Celebrity Apprentice"in recent months, where Schwarzenegger was tapped to replace Trump as the host of the reality TV show, reports CNN. Amid low ratings, Trump blamed Schwarzenegger for the show's demise, while Schwarzenegger suggested the two men "switch jobs" so that the people could "finally sleep comfortably again."
The actor and former California governor recently said he will not be returning for another season of the show.