|INDIANAPOLIS – With a full week now to review President Trump’s budget and its horrendous cuts, both Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita continue to refuse to tell constituents where they stand.
President Trump’s budget, released last Tuesday, not only alienates Democrats and Independents, but a good number of Republicans as well. While prioritizing an expensive ramp up in military spending, it cuts nearly $1 trillion over the next ten years from the safety net and other programs aimed at helping the less fortunate. That includes nearly $200 billion from food stamp programs and an another $800 billion in Medicaid cuts that will hurt everyone from older Americans to disabled children and their families. The budget also includes nearly $6.2 trillion in new tax cuts, most of which would flow to the wealthy.
Both Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita have moved in lock step with President Trump so far, with Congressman Messer being described as “one of Trump’s biggest cheerleaders” and Congressman Rokita talking up his “votes to support President Trump’s agenda.” But while their constituents clamor for clarity on whether they’ll stand against Trump’s brutal proposed cuts, or if they’ll act once more as a rubber stamp for the Trump agenda, both Congressmen have failed to take a position on the issue.
Congressman Messer has so far stayed quiet on the overall budget, only releasing a statement on a specific provision involving the Child Tax Credit but ignoring the other cuts. Congressman Rokita, meanwhile, released a statement praising the President following the release of the budget; however, his office later backtracked, reaching out to the Journal Gazette to clarify that his comments were not intended to be praise for the the budget itself, which Congressman Rokita is apparently “still reviewing.” Seven days later, he apparently still hasn’t reached a conclusion.
“A budget is a statement of priorities, and while President Trump’s priorities of massive cuts to the safety net and huge tax cuts for the rich are proudly on display, Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s only priorities appear to be avoiding their constituents and covering up their opinions,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Whether it’s refusing to say anything at all, or in Congressman Rokita’s case, backtracking and trying to claim that the statement he put out was actually meaningless, both Congressmen are trying to have their cake and eat it too by refusing to weigh in on this toxic budget. A week is more than enough time to reach an opinion—it’s time to stop hiding and come clean with Hoosiers on where they stand.”