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Morgantown town hall meeting to address concerns about Trump’s budget proposal


The Daily Athenaeum

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Morgantown town hall meeting will address concerns about Trump’s budget proposal.

Scheduled for Saturday, the town hall will be hosted by Mountaineers for Progress and the West Virginia Citizen Action Group.

“There are real people in our community, good people, who if the budget passes will get hurt,” said Ace Parsi, a Mountaineers for Progress member.

The proposed budget by President Donald Trump will be considered by the United States Congress in September. It would reduce funding for Medicaid, Pell grants, food stamps and other programs for the poor.

According to Mountaineers for Progress, these are some of the cuts in Senate proposals:

  • $1 trillion cut from Medicaid over ten years (20% of Medicaid’s budget)
  • Over $150 billion cut from food stamps, also known as SNAP (22% of SNAP’s budget)
  • Nearly $500 billion cut from Medicare—and it’s turned into a voucher system
  • $3.3 billion cut from Pell grants—and they’d be harder for students to use
  • Billions in cuts to education, the environment, housing, and worker training

Parsi said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and U.S. Representative David McKinley, R-W.Va., were invited to the town hall.

“If [they] decide to show you, then the audience can direct questions to them,” he said. “We’ll have their chairs there, whether they’re behind them or not, there will be a chair with a name tag.”

Parsi said questions would be directed to the empty seats if they did not come.

Danielle Walker, who will be a guest speaker at the town hall, uses federal programs.

“When I came [to West Virginia], my life was very together,” said Walker. “I came here with my ex-husband in the oil and gas industry. And when that industry fell off its feet, he moved back down south and I decided to stay in West Virginia.”

Walker has two children with disabilities. She said their survival rate would diminish if these cuts were made.

Walker said, “My oldest son has Rheumatoid arthritis, Fibromyalgia, he suffers with migraines, he has tumors in his legs” and suffers from hearing loss.

Walker said she used federal help as a building block.

“I am a first-time home owner, being responsible and paying my mortgage,” she said.

The West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness, an organization that houses the homeless, will also be represented at the town hall.

“I’m trying to humanize homelessness,” said Michael White, Housing Stabilization Worker for the organization. “We’re going to have very deep conversation that talks about the reality of homeless services.”

White said these services could be affected if the budget cuts occur.

The town hall will be held in the Morgantown Church of the Brethren on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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