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Higgins Details the Impact to Western New York Under Proposed Trump Budget

Feb 14, 2018
Press Release
Big Losers Include: Transportation, Education, Great Lakes, Neighborhoods & Seniors

Following release of President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), a member of the House Budget Committee, is outlining how the proposal would impact the people of Western New York as well as the projects and priorities of importance to the region.

“The White House fiscal blueprint for 2019 is more like a battle plan of attack on seniors, students and communities,” said Higgins.  “Transportation grants that put people to work are eliminated, initiatives that support small business and community growth are abandoned, and successful programs that keep seniors safe and healthy are cut.  This budget plan would extend self-inflicted wounds on the American people and American opportunity creating particular hardships on communities across Western New York.”

Trump Budget - Big picture:

Social Security: Proposes as much as $65 billion in cuts to Social Security benefits

Affordable Care Act: Despite GOP leadership saying they will not seek to repeal ACA, the Trump Budget includes savings based on repeal

Medicaid: Cuts Medicaid by $1.4 trillion over 10 years

Medicare: Cut by 7%, $500 billion over 10 years

EPA: Budget cut by over 33%

Trump Budget – WNY impact:

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative – massive cut - from $300M to $30M - will impact health of Great Lakes and the Buffalo River, as well as related waterfront improvements

TIGER Grant program elimination – NFTA is applying for a TIGER Grant to extend metro rail to the DL&W

Community Development Block Grants eliminated – this is an over $21 million direct hit to WNY municipalities to improve roads and strengthen communities.

HEAP elimination – many WNY seniors rely on HEAP to help with heating costs during our cold winters

A detailed summary of key elements affecting the Buffalo-Niagara region:







Description / WNY Impact


FY19 (budget proposal)









TIGER Grants

A nationwide competitive grant program that funds transportation projects that will have a significant regional impact.  TIGER grants supported the Niagara Falls International Railway Station & the Cars Sharing Main Street project in Buffalo.  This is a potential source of funding for NFTA Metro rail expansion at DL&W.

$500 million


Federal Transit Administration New Starts

Used to build or expand subway, light rail, and
commuter rail transit systems.  In 2011, the FTA awarded the NFTA $1.2 million for the Amherst-Buffalo Corridor.
In January, NYS announced support for light rail extension between Buffalo and Amherst. The New Starts program would be the funding source for this project

$2.4 billion

$1 billion - limited to projects with existing full funding agreements









Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Provides for habitat restoration, invasive species prevention, reducing runoff and cleaning up Great Lakes' Areas of Concern.  Over the last decade, the federal government has invested $32.38 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding in and around the Buffalo River.

$300 million

$30 million

West Valley Demonstration Project (funded through the Department of Energy/Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup program)

West Valley Demonstration Project is a nuclear waste remediation and clean-up initiative.

$66 million

$60 million; cut of $6 million

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Grants & Education (Commerce)

NOAA funded projects educate and inspire people to use Earth systems science to improve ecosystem stewardship and increase resilience to environmental hazards.  A source of funding or Buffalo River restoration.  $4.7 Million awarded in 2014.  Work is continuing (BN Waterkeepers announced Oct 2017) to restore habitat along 2 miles of shoreline and 20 acres of habitat at eight project sites along the Buffalo River.)

$273 million










Economic Development Administration

EDA plays a critical role in fostering regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation.  In WNY EDA supported Launch NY & Tonawanda Tomorrow.

$276 million


Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)

MEP Centers and partners develop services to enable manufacturers to identify opportunities that will accelerate and strengthen growth and competitiveness in the global marketplace.  WNY’s Insyte Consulting has been the top MEP performer nationwide since 2013.  2,811 manufacturing jobs created or saved across the region.   Insyte has returned $326.58 for every $1 of federal and state funding received, based on $889,650,223 of client reported impact divided by $3,056,400 in Federal and State funding received by Insyte for the years 2014-2016.

$130 million


Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI - Treasury)

 The mission of the CDFI program is to increase economic opportunity and community development for underserved populations in distressed communities.   Launch NY and Westminster Economic Development Initiative received grants totaling $356,000 to support the growth of small businesses and jobs in WNY. 

$248 million

$14 million (no new grants, only management of existing commitments)









Perkins Loans

Low-interest federal student loans for undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need.

$33.8 million


Federal Work Study (Education)

The FWS program assists needy undergraduate and graduate students in financing postsecondary
education costs through part-time employment.

$990 million

$200 million

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Education)

GEAR UP provides grants to States to support college preparation and awareness activities to ensure low-income elementary, middle and secondary students are prepared for and enroll in postsecondary education.

$340 million


Educational Opportunity Grants (Education)

SEOG program provides need-based grant aid to eligible undergraduate students to help reduce financial barriers to college education

$733 million


Literacy Development Grants (Education)

This program awards competitive grants to States, which make competitive sub-grants to local entities to improve literacy instruction from birth through grade 12. 

$190 million


Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its core programs -- Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund -- and the national volunteer efforts through   $3.437 million investment in CNCS funding to WNY supported 540,153 hours of service in local schools, transportation to people with disabilities & senior volunteers at 90 WNY nonprofit agencies.

$829 million


National Endowment for the Arts/National Endowment for the Humanities

Agencies focused on the promotion of the arts and humanities in communities across the country.  - WNY art/cultural organizations have an $87.4 million economic impact, employ 2,900 people, and generate $4.3 million in government revenue.  Since 2000, WNY organizations have received more than $3.4 million in NEA funding.  In the last 2 years, WNY projects have received approximately $700,000 in NEH funding.

$150 million each for NEA & NEH


Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Provides grants to qualified public television and radio stations to be used at their discretion for purposes related to program production. (WNED TV/Radio Buffalo)

$495 million










Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs.  Seniors & families are left in the cold.   Over 15,000 households in Niagara County received HEAP in 2016.  In Erie County during the 2014-2015 season, more than 90,000 cases/225,000 individuals received over $25 million in HEAP benefits.

$3.4 billion



Provides healthcare to the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community.


Cuts Medicaid by $1.4 trillion over 10 years

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net.

$75 billion

$70 billion - Budget proposes cuts of $193 billion over 10 years to the program, in anticipation of Congressional consideration of the Farm Bill, for which SNAP funding is authorized.

Children's Health Insurance Program

CHIP provides federal matching funds to states to provide health coverage to children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who can't afford private coverage.  Significant cut to a program that is providing medical care to vulnerable children.

$16.4 billion

$11.4 billion

Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Programs

Provides resources and technical assistance to state and local law enforcement to advance the practice of community policing.  Police Departments Impacted: Cheektowaga, Niagara Falls, Buffalo. 

$195 million

$99 million









Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs.   More than $21 Million in cuts to neighborhood & community improvements in NY-26 alone, shifting costs to local taxpayers.

$3 billion


Homeless Assistance Grants

Number of programs to provide critical safety net to the homeless.

$2.46 billion

$2.38 billion

HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME)

The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides formula grants to States and localities that communities use - often in partnership with local nonprofit groups - to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.

$950 million


Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD VASH)

HUD-VASH is a collaborative program between HUD and VA that combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services to help Veterans who are homeless and their families find and sustain permanent housing.

$82 million


Promise Neighborhoods

Competitive grant program for community groups seeking to provide a continuum of services and support for students in underserved neighborhoods to maximize the chance of academic success.

$73 million


National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund

Among other duties, this program administers the Historic Tax Credit approval process.

$80.9 million

$32.6 million

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger.




Earlier this week Higgins responded to the Trump infrastructure proposal, which actually decreases federal investment in roads and bridges, below current funding levels which are already inadequate in addressing the infrastructure needs, and pushing the costs to commuters via increases to the state/local tax burden and/or increasing tolls.