Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

GOP pleased over Trump budget blueprint

GOP pleased over Trump budget blueprint

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 new budget plan builds on Trump's March proposals, adding details to his goal of boosting defense spending by $54 billion, a 10 percent increase, for this year, with that boost financed by an equal cut to nondefense programs.

At the same time, the blueprint boosts spending on the military by tens of billions and calls for $1.6 billion for a border wall with Mexico that Trump repeatedly promised voters the US neighbor would finance. Mexico emphatically rejects that notion.

It would take several months before the annual budget is passed by the House and the Senate and finally signed into law by the United States president.

Though the President has asked for 10,000 new immigration officers and 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, the 2018 budget would only support bringing on 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 new ICE officers. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., called the proposal "inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress".

The proposal projects that this year's federal deficit will rise to $603 billion, up from $585 billion last year.

The government hasn't run a surplus since 2001, and deficits spiked during former President Barack Obama's term in the aftermath of global financial crisis. "In these unsafe times, this public safety and national security budget blueprint is a message to the world - a message of American strength, security and resolve", Trump said.

In a statement, the American Farm Bureau Federation said that "this budget fails agriculture and rural America".

Democrats had an opposite interpretation. Dick Durbin of IL. A 10-year, $193 billion reduction in food stamps - nearly 30 percent - promises to drive millions of people off the program. "It's not right when you look at it through the perspective of the people who pay taxes", he said.

Turkey slams U.S. over 'aggressive' acts against bodyguards
Turkey's official Anadolu Agency (AA) reported that two major shipments took place in northeastern Syria, six days after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a decree on arming the militant group for its role in driving Daesh terrorists out of Raqqa.

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.

For the FDA, the proposed budget would increase user fees by $1.306 billion or 68% from FY 2017, to $3.223 billion, accounting for almost two-thirds of the agency's total budget, up from 42.5% in FY 2016.

The politically perilous cuts to Medicaid, the federal-state health care for the poor and disabled; college loans, food stamps and federal employee pension benefits guarantee Trump's budget won't go far in Congress, even though Republicans control both the House and Senate.

The cuts are part of a budget blueprint for the upcoming fiscal year that amount to a dramatic restructuring of the government, with protection for retirement programs for the elderly, billions of dollars more for the military and the rest of the government bearing the bulk of the reductions.

EPA earlier this month said it would prioritize and streamline the approval process for sites with a cleanup price tag of $50 million or more (Greenwire, May 11).

"It balances in 10 years". The food stamp program serves about 42 million people.

Longtime GOP Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, a longtime appropriator, declared proposed cuts to safety net and environmental proposals 'draconian'. The Trump budget at least starts to tell us the truth about what benefits can survive even in the short-term future. It proposes new restrictions on government-subsidized crop insurance, a program that is particular favorite of grain farmers.

While Trump's proposal could push the economy towards his goal of 3 percent growth, it relies on an overhaul of the US tax and regulatory code to stimulate that growth.

Refugee benefits: The proposed budget makes the argument that the US should reduce the number of refugees it brings into this country because those fleeing persecution in their home countries often end up using public assistance, including 50 percent who were on Medicaid in 2015.

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