The Latest: Trump would stop money for rural airline service

The Latest: Trump would stop money for rural airline service

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 16, 2017 at 3:40 p.m.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's budget proposal for the coming fiscal year (all times EDT):

5:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling for the elimination of subsidized air service to rural communities, many of which supported his election last year after he promised to create jobs.

Trump's proposal is part of his budget plan. Officials in those communities say it would sever an economic lifeline that enables them to attract and keep businesses and jobs.

The program has long been a target of conservatives who say the subsidies are too expensive for the relatively small number of passengers served. The administration says elimination of the program would save about $175 million a year.

An Associated Press analysis of budget data shows Trump got more than 50 percent of the vote in 86 of the 111 communities in the lower 48 states that receive subsidies under the program.


4:55 p.m.

Health groups say President Donald Trump's proposal slashing funds for the National Institutes of Health would be devastating for patients with all kinds of diseases — and for jobs.

Trump has called for a cut of $5.8 billion from the agency that is the nation's engine of biomedical research. It amounts to 18 percent of NIH's budget and would trickle down to universities and other research institutions that use most of the money.

The cuts come despite Trump recently telling Congress about the need to find "cures to the illnesses that have always plagued us."

Dr. Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association says the budget could mean "the next cure for some cancer is sitting there waiting to be discovered, and it won't get to the table."


3:55 p.m.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says the Trump administration is cutting spending for climate change efforts because "we consider that to be a waste of your money."

Mulvaney says: "I think the president is fairly straightforward. We're not spending money on that."

President Donald Trump has often called climate change a "hoax" and his EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, said last week he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. Trump's proposed budget would cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 31 percent — nearly one-third — and eliminate more than 3,200 jobs.

The proposed budget would eliminate funding for the State Department's Global Climate Change Initiative and the U.N. Green Climate Fund, which help developing nations address climate change.


3 p.m.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says reforming the U.N. and cutting U.S. contributions were "a promise made to the American people and a goal to restore trust and value at the U.N."

In a statement, Halley said, "the U.N. spends more money than it should, and in many ways it places a much larger financial burden on the United States than on other countries."

She said she looks forward to working with members of Congress "to craft a budget that advances U.S. interests at the U.N.," and to working with U.N. colleagues "to make the organization more effective and efficient."

The U.S. is the largest financial contributor to the U.N. and currently pays 22 percent of its regular budget and over 28 percent of its budget for the 16 peacekeeping missions, which are undergoing a review.

President Donald Trump's proposed budget calls for unspecified U.S. cuts in funding for the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, and caps American contributions to U.N. peacekeeping missions at 25 percent of the total costs.


2:20 p.m.

The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is ready to discuss with the United States and any other U.N. member state "how best we can create a more cost-effective organization."

The budget proposed by President Donald Trump reduces funding to the U.N. and its affiliated agencies, and caps American contributions to U.N. peacekeeping missions at 25 percent of the total costs. The U.S. currently pays 22 percent of the U.N.'s regular budget and over 28 percent of the costs of its far-flung peacekeeping operations which are undergoing a review.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres is grateful for U.S. support as the U.N.'s largest financial contributor and concerned that abrupt funding cuts can undermine long-term reform efforts.

Apparently reacting to Trump's announcement of a big increase for the U.S. military in the proposed budget, Dujarric said Guterres believes that effectively combatting terrorism "requires more than military spending."


12:55 p.m.

The top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee is slamming proposed budget cuts to the IRS, an agency that is down more than 17,000 employees since 2010.

Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts says: "We have seen in recent years that when IRS funding goes down, call wait times rise for taxpayers."

He adds that: "Congressional Republicans have been saying they want the IRS to be more focused on customer service, but slashing funding for the agency by hundreds of millions of dollars would result in the exact opposite outcome."

President Donald Trump proposed budget would cut the agency's funding by $239 million from this year's spending level. The agency's budget of about $11 billion is about $1 billion less than it was in 2010.


11:20 a.m.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she doesn't see how President Donald Trump's recommended budget for the fiscal year can survive the light of day.

Pelosi says the budget represents a philosophical distrust of the role of the federal government in any way meeting the needs of Americans.

Pelosi says the budget should be a statement of national values. She says the strength of America doesn't just depend on a strong military, but on well-educated children, life-saving medical research and a healthy environment.

Trump unveiled a $1.15 trillion budget on Thursday, a far-reaching overhaul of federal government spending that slashes many domestic programs. The budget recommends a $54 billion increase in defense spending, but Pelosi says the future demands the government also invest in the well-being of children and working families.


8:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump has unveiled a $1.15 trillion budget, a far-reaching overhaul of federal government spending that slashes many domestic programs to finance a significant increase in the military and make a down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Trump's proposal seeks to upend Washington with cuts to long-promised campaign targets like foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency as well as strong congressional favorites such as medical research, help for homeless veterans and community development grants.

The $54 billion boost for the military is the largest since President Ronald Reagan's Pentagon buildup in the 1980s. It promises immediate money for troop readiness, the fight against Islamic State militants and procurement of new ships, fighter jets and other weapons.

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