Rep. Chris Collins, a longtime Trump supporter, distanced himself from the President
"Meals on Wheels is a wonderful program. It is one I would never vote to cut even one dollar," Collins said
New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins, a longtime backer of President Donald Trump, said he does not support the President’s budget plan to cut funds for Meals on Wheels.
“This is the President’s budget, I’m not sure where the details came from. But when we get into appropriations, Meals on Wheels is a wonderful program. It is one I would never vote to cut even one dollar,” Collins said.
During a sit down with CNN’s Van Jones on “The Messy Truth,” Collins watched as Jones spoke to a woman who relies on Meals on Wheels to get by.
“How else would I eat? I don’t know. I really don’t know how I would receive healthy foods,” Christa Patton, a home-bound senior citizen, told Jones in her apartment.
“I used to joke about senior citizens eating dog food. I can understand now, exactly what they are talking about.”
The preliminary outline for Trump’s 2018 budget aims to slash funding for the Meals on Wheels program, among other cuts. The blueprint suggests cutting funds for the Department of Housing and Urban Development by about $6.2 billion, a 13.2% decrease from its 2017 funding level.
Almost half of those savings will come by eliminating the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which provides money for a variety of community development and anti-poverty programs, including Meals on Wheels.
During the White House press briefing Thursday, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney addressed concerns about cuts to the Meals on Wheels program.
“Meals on Wheels sounds great,” Mulvaney said. “We’re going to spend a lot of money, but we’re not going to spend on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises that we’ve made to people.”
Collins, who provided Trump’s first congressional endorsement during the primaries, distanced himself from the President in this conversation. Instead, the lawmaker spoke about his personal experience with Meals on Wheels, saying that his mother-in-law received five meals a week from the program.
Not only did it provide her with food, but it also kept her safe as she lived alone, he said.
“I’m not going to try and justify it because that’s not my plan,” Collins said.