Metro Detroiters concerned over Trump's proposed budget cuts
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 0:33
President Donald Trump is sending Congress a $4.1 trillion spending plan that relies on faster economic growth and steep cuts in a range of support programs for low-income individuals to balance the government's books over the next decade.
The budget includes $25 billion for a plan to give parents six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, and $200 billion to encourage state and local governments to boost spending on roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure programs.
Calling it "a taxpayer-first budget", Mick Mulvaney, Director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, said the administration would place great weight on the interests of taxpayers rather than those who need government help.
For fiscal 2018, the budget would also shift 54 billion dollars from non-defense discretionary spending to defense by enacting major cuts to the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies.
Defense spending would increase by $52 billion over the current year, including money earmarked for Trump's campaign promise of a wall along the Mexican border.
The plan is outlined in White House summary documents.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told colleagues that the Trump plan - unlike any of President Barack Obama's budget blueprints - "actually achieves balance". Lucy Melcher, associate director for advocacy with the anti-hunger group No Kid Hungry, argues that the proposed cuts are "devastating" to a program that research shows lifts people out of poverty.
Additionally, the Republican health care bill passed by the House would cap the overall federal share of Medicaid spending. In 2016, about 7.7 million people received WIC benefits each month, with children and infants accounting for almost six million in the program.
President Trump's team has officially released its first full budget proposal.
There are some cuts, from the projected increase in federal spending over the next decade. These programs provide health insurance for millions of poor families.
The budget predicts a sweeping tax overhaul package that would strengthen economic growth while providing few details of how the tax code would change.
The White House pushed back against some of the criticism on Tuesday, specifically taking issue with Democrats' claims that the budget is unreasonable because it requires a 3 percent economic growth rate to balance over 10 years.
During a tour of Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, Perry said he has "not been in the job long enough to go through the budget line item by line item".
The proposed budget, for the fiscal year that begins October 1, was being delivered to Congress Tuesday, setting off an extended debate in which Democrats are already attacking the administration for trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.
The Congressional Budget Office, in comparison, estimates the nation will see 1.9 percent growth on average for the next 10 years.
Many rank-and-file Republicans recoiled from the cuts, however, which would squeeze foreign aid and domestic programmes funded annually by Congress by about 10% next year and 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars £1.1 trillion) (over the coming decade. In agriculture, it would limit subsidies to farmers, including for purchasing crop insurance, an idea already attacked by farm state lawmakers. Moreover, the administration's budget assumes that it will continue to collect revenue at today's tax rates - which it has repeatedly said it intends to lower.
Mr Mulvaney's appearance was one of four planned for Wednesday as Trump Cabinet officials fanned out on Capitol Hill to defend the president's budget, which contains jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of domestic programmes.