Rep. Chris Collins on Meals on Wheels cuts: “That’s not my plan”

Washington (CNN) New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins, a longtime backer of President Donald Trump, said he does not support the President’s financial plan to cut resources for Meals on Wheels.

“This is the President’s budget; I’m not sure where the facts came from. But when we get into assumptions, Meals on Wheels is a brilliant program. It is one I would by no means vote to cut even one dollar,” Collins said.

During a sit down with CNN’s Van Jones on “The Messy Truth,” Collins observed as Jones spoke to a woman who counts on on Meals on Wheels to get by.

“How else would I eat? I don’t know. I really don’t know how I would obtain nutritious foods,” Christa Patton, a home-bound senior resident, told Jones in her apartment.

“I used to tease senior people eating dog food. I can comprehend now, exactly what they are speaking about.”

Meals on Wheels could take funding hit in Trump financial plans.

The initial outline for Trump’s 2018 budget targets to cut 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% reduction from its 2017 funding level.

Almost half of those funds will come by reducing the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which offers money for a range of community improvements and anti-poverty programs, including Meals on Wheels.

Here’s what Trump’s financial plan recommends to cut.

During the White House press conference Thursday, White House Budget Executive Mick Mulvaney voiced concerns about cuts-backs to the Meals on Wheels program.

“Meals on Wheels sounds impressive,” Mulvaney said. “We’re going to devote a lot of money and resources, but we’re not going to invest on programs that cannot demonstrate that they truly deliver the promises that we’ve made to citizens.”

Collins, who provided Trump’s first congressional commendation during the primaries, detached himself from the President in these discussions. Instead, the lawmaker spoke about his private experience with Meals on Wheels, saying that his mother-in-law received five meals a week from the program.

Not only did it offer her with food, but it also preserved her safe as she survived alone, he said.

“I’m not going to try and rationalize it because that’s not my proposal,” Collins said.

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