Purdue defends budget's food stamp cuts to angry Democrats
- Author: Leroy Wright May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 18:11
The divide sets up a clash between House conservatives and a growing number of Senate Republicans who would rather work with Democrats on a spending deal than entertain Trump's deep cuts.
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin dismissed such criticism as typical rhetoric and praised the budget because it balances over 10 years.
Trump's balanced-budget goal depends not only on the growth projections that most economists view as overly optimistic but also a variety of accounting gimmicks, including an nearly $600 billion peace dividend from winding down overseas military operations and "double counting" $2.1 trillion in revenues from economic growth - using them to both pay for tax cuts and bring down the deficit.
The White House released its budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year this week.
Fast forward to Tuesday, when OMB Director Mick Mulvaney laid out the first Republican budget in nine years, and Mulvaney not only dumped the concept of compassionate conservatism, he literally redefined what compassion should mean in today's Washington.
"We felt it was premature to put in any changes to the budget as a result of taxes since we are not far enough along to estimate what that impact will be", he said at an event sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which says it seeks long-term government fiscal solutions.
And the size of the cuts appeared to even make many Republicans uneasy.
Minnesota Democrats lambasted the spending plan for cutting too deeply into social programs.
-Border security: The proposal includes $2.6 billion for border security technology, including money to design and build a wall along the southern border.
Trump has promised to rebuild the US military through a spike in spending. The announcement surprised oil markets and briefly pulled down USA crude prices.
Mulvaney's appearance was one of four slated Wednesday as Trump Cabinet officials fanned out on Capitol Hill to defend Trump's budget, which contains jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of domestic programs.
Mulvaney said the plan is the first one in a long time to pay attention to taxpayers.
"You would hope that they would want to ask the folks who know the most about it", said Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, adding he and his staff were not consulted ahead of the proposal of large crop insurance cuts which he can not support.
Republican leaders in the House said lawmakers would be able to find common ground with the budget plan.
"President Trump can not unilaterally enact a budget", said Brian Strow, an economics professor at Western Kentucky University and BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism.
With a $54 billion increase in defense spending, in 2018 the budget provides for 56,400 more U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines military personnel. "Thankfully, Congress will have a say in the final budget and I will work with Republicans and Democrats in the OH delegation to fight for OH priorities".
The president would reduce almost a third of funding for diplomacy and foreign aid including global health and food aid, peacekeeping and other forms of non-military foreign involvement. "This budget is not going to go anywhere".
Those programs may not come out of Capitol Hill unscathed, however.
It does propose a six-week family leave program for new parents, costing about $20 billion over 10 years-a project championed by Trump's daughter and key aide Ivanka.
Most government departments would see steep cuts, particularly the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. He said lawmakers should expect Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to inform them of "a change in the date" in which Congress will need to act to increase the debt limit to avert an economy-rattling default on USA obligations like bond payments.