- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The Latest on Maine’s congressional delegation reacting to President Trump’s budget proposal (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins says there are “serious problems” with President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

Collins, a Republican, says she is particularly troubled by proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health. She says the cuts would jeopardize biomedical research that is important for developing treatments of diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

She also says she’s worried by the proposed elimination of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program that helps rebuild infrastructure.

Collins says there are highlights to the budget, such as increased funding for lead hazard control programs.


3:30 p.m.

New England’s sole Republican member of the House of Representatives says some aspects of President Donald Trump’s budget proposal are praise-worthy, such as a plan to increase veterans’ services.

But Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin also echoed some concerns of his more liberal colleagues. Poliquin says he’s concerned about the possibility of too deep a cut to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which he characterized as especially important to Maine.

Poliquin, in his second term, says he is also skeptical of the need for significant reductions to Community Development Block Grant programs and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He says he plans to “thoroughly examine” the proposal in the coming months.


1:04 p.m.

A Maine congresswoman who sits on the House Appropriations Committee says President Donald Trump’s budget proposal is “foolish” and “shortsighted” and she will not stand for it.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, says Trump’s spending plan will make Americans less healthy and less economically secure. She says the budget will negatively affect heating assistance for low-income families and rural economic stimulus programs that are important to Maine.

Pingree says she is especially alarmed by a proposed cut of more than 20 percent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget.

President Donald Trump has proposed a $1.15 trillion budget. Trump and Congress will likely wrangle over the spending plan for weeks.

Other members of Maine’s congressional delegation say they will release their takes on Trump’s budget later on Thursday.

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