Politics & Government

These programs in Mississippi are under the budget ax

Mississippi faces potential cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a federal initiative that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help them meet nutritional needs, if President Donald Trump budget passes.
Mississippi faces potential cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a federal initiative that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help them meet nutritional needs, if President Donald Trump budget passes. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

Mississippi’s low-income and disabled communities are among those hit hardest in the Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal.

As a result of the proposed budget, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” Mississippi would face some of the nation’s largest cuts to programs including children’s health insurance, food stamps and disability insurance. If approved by Congress, the budget would take effect Oct. 1.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health coverage to almost 8.4 million children in the United States, would face $5.8 billion in cuts over the next decade. More than 87,000 children in Mississippi are enrolled in CHIP, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Mississippi also faces potential cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a federal initiative that provides monthly benefits to low-income households to help them meet nutritional needs, according to the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

SNAP helped feed 45 million low-income Americans in fiscal year 2015, and nearly 70 percent of these were part of a family, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported.

In Mississippi, SNAP provided $920 million in assistance to an average of more than 636,000 households each month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Of the state’s four congressional districts, District 2, which covers the Delta, had the most households receiving SNAP benefits— more than 66,000.

At a national level, notable budget cuts include slashing Medicaid and CHIP spending by $616 billion by 2027, and SNAP would lose about $193 billion in spending over the next decade. The proposal cuts federal student loans by $143 billion during the same period.

Twelve percent of Mississippi voters — the third-highest state percentage nationally — benefit from Social Security Disability Insurance. Disability insurance spending would be cut $72 billion over the next 10 years by Trump’s budget proposal. Other states largely affected by these cuts include West Virginia, Arkansas and Alabama.

Trump also proposed cutting a program that shares federal revenue from offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters with Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. The former businessman won the electoral and popular votes in all four of those states in the election.

The 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act aimed to promote offshore oil and natural gas drilling among the four Gulf Coast states by giving them 37.5 percent of royalties and leases federal companies get from companies that drill off the coast. The White House estimated eliminating these payments would lower the federal deficit by $3.56 billion by 2027.

Several red states that cast their votes for Trump in November are facing the largest spending cuts, according to the budget. Mississippi’s six electoral votes went to Trump, who earned 58.3 percent of the state’s popular vote.

Jessica Campisi is a reporting intern with McClatchy DC 609-477-0303 | jcampisi@mcclatchydc.com

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