Tags: haley barbour | national service programs | hurricane katrina | cuts

Haley Barbour Urges Trump to Spare National Service Programs From Budget Cuts

Image: Haley Barbour Urges Trump to Spare National Service Programs From Budget Cuts

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 10:19 AM

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour called on President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues not to gut the national service programs that were "crucial" in responding to Hurricane Katrina.

"I urge my Republican colleagues to consider carefully before swinging the budget ax toward national service programs, as President Trump has proposed," Barbour wrote in The Washington Post Wednesday. "These programs are crucial when it comes to disaster response. Having governed Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in our nation's history, I know all too well."

Barbour singled out the AmeriCorps program, a part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which the White House budget proposal targeted for elimination.

"AmeriCorps connects some 80,000 Americans annually with community and faith-based organizations to solve educational, public health, environmental and homeland security issues," he wrote.

"Now, that doesn't sound like wasted government spending to me. And I don't know about a West Virginia coal miner, but I know what the hard-working taxpayers of Mississippi think about AmeriCorps, whose volunteers played an outsized and critical role in the immediate- and long-term recovery from Katrina."

Voices for National Service estimates that cutting the CNCS, total funding for which makes up .029 percent of the federal budget, would "cripple" over 1,100 faith-based and community groups, and eliminate 270,000 members of Senior Corps who along with AmeriCorps, "serve more than 750,000 veterans and military families, and 23,000 veterans serve in these programs."

According to Barbour, 40,000 AmeriCorps members worked to train and coordinate volunteers in the storm's wake, establishing shelters, donation warehouses, emergency call and feeding centers, as well as repaired over 15,000 homes.

"Crucially, they provided training that enabled volunteers to effectively clean up communities in the wake of the most expensive storm in American history," he addds.

"Today, President Trump and Congress are right to seriously address, for the first time in years, the crisis of the federal government's budget bloat. But funding for national service programs, a tiny fraction of the massive federal budget, isn't the place to start.

"I hope America never endures another storm as devastating as Hurricane Katrina. Should we, though, I pray AmeriCorps members will be there. It's up to Congress and the new administration to see they are."

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Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour called on President Donald Trump and his Republican colleagues not to gut the national service programs that were "crucial" in responding to Hurricane Katrina.
haley barbour, national service programs, hurricane katrina, cuts
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2017-19-12
Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 10:19 AM
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