GOP Lawmaker: Trump’s Budget Proposal “Dead On Arrival”

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WASHINGTON D.C. (CBSMiami) — The White House has sent its budget proposal to Capitol Hill. President Trump wants Congress to cut $3.6 trillion dollars over the next 10 years with some of the steepest cuts to social safety net programs including Medicaid and food stamps. The proposal includes more money for defense, border security and immigration enforcement and leaves Social Security and Medicare alone.

The plan is titled “The New Foundation for American Greatness.” In addition to cutting $3.6 trillion, it proposes reducing the debt from its current 77 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 60 percent of GDP, and wiping out deficit spending entirely in a decade. The budget book devotes two pages to an outline of how the Obama administration caused massive inflation of the national debt and created economic stagnation.

The President’s first major budget proposal, which assumes the Medicaid savings in the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) will be passed, would make $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade.

Programs like food stamps (SNAP), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Temporary Assistance for Needy families (TANF) will face sharp cuts.

“Here’s what I’m happy about: we finally have a president who’s willing to actually even balance the budget,” said Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a House GOP news conference on Tuesday. “Clearly Congress will take that budget and then work on our own budget, which is the case every single year but at least we now have common objectives: grow the economy, balance the budget, so we are now on that common ground and we will have a great debate about the details and how to achieve those goals.”

The welfare portion of Mr. Trump’s proposal would give states increased authority to impose work requirements and eligibility restrictions for welfare programs, and his budget would slash an estimated $274 billion from anti-poverty programs over ten years.

The domestic spending cuts would be redirected to a large increase in defense, border security, and immigration enforcement spending. Nearly $3 billion would be invested in border security in fiscal year 2018 — $1.6 billion of which would be allocated to brick and mortar to build Mr. Trump’s proposed southern border wall. The president is also requesting a $54 billion increase for the Department of Defense and other national defense programs.

In keeping with his campaign promise, Mr. Trump would leave core Social Security benefits and Medicare untouched. He would also invest $25 billion in a paid family leave program over the course of a 10-year budget.

Mr. Trump, however, also promised not to cut Medicaid on the campaign trail. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over 10 million people would be cut off of Medicaid as a result of the cuts made by the AHCA, the Republican health care bill Mr. Trump championed.

The proposed budget is getting an icy reception on Capitol Hill from many of his fellow Republicans.

No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn calls the budget “dead on arrival.”

Longtime GOP Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky calls Trump’s proposed cuts to domestic safety net programs “draconian.”

Another senior Republican lawmaker, Fred Upton of Michigan, questioned inclusion of money for Trump’s border wall, remarking: “I thought Mexico was going to pay for the wall, why is this in our budget?”

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin dismissed such criticism as typical rhetoric and praised the budget because it balances over 10 years.

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