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NASW Opposes President Trump’s Fiscal 2021 Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Trump yesterday presented his FY 2021 budget to Congress and the American people, proposing deep cuts to social programs but increases in defense, including funding for a border wall. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) believes that a budget is a statement of our nation’s values and principles, this budget fails to deliver for all American families.

NASW is troubled by the administration’s proposed dreadful cuts to essential social safety net programs. These cuts, if left intact, will distress the lives of millions of vulnerable groups such as elderly individuals who need long-term care and low to moderate income individuals and families depend on safety net programs. Among other things, Trump’s proposed budget would:

  • Cut $1 trillion in the Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over a 10-year period.
  • Eliminate ACA’s enhanced federal matching funding for expansion of Medicaid coverage to low-income adults – resulting in the likelihood that 13 million people lose access to health care services
  • Require all states to disallow Medicaid coverage for certain adult enrollees who do not meet work requirements – impacting millions of people.
  • Sharply reduces the federal contribution to state Medicaid-funded behavioral health treatment programs that address the opioid epidemic.
  • Cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $182 billion over 10 years, which represents nearly 30% of the FY 2020 SNAP allocation.
  • Reduce Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program by $20 billion over 10 years.
  • Cut FY2021 funding for public housing to 43% below its 2020 level and eliminate housing vouchers for 160,000 low-income households.
  • President Trump wants to eventually eliminate the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program, projecting $207 billion in savings over the next decade.

These proposed cuts to critical safety net programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, and low-income housing assistance are unfathomable and will exacerbate the income inequality that is already growing at an historic rate. Moreover, households of color will disproportionately suffer if the President’s FY2021 budget comes to fruition.

Yesterday’s submission of the budget by the President to Congress begins the process for formulating a budget that aligns with our country’s values and priorities. Over the coming weeks and months, NASW will join with our allies and Congress to enact a budget that strengthens the social safety net.


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.