Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Key benchmarks in President Donald Trump's budget


As the Trump administration's 2018 budget was released in Washington on Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump was half way around the globe, preparing for a visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday.

There were photo-ops and a public push from the administration to tout its plan as evidence it is doing what the billionaire businessman turned reality star said he would do during the 2016 campaign: Slash federal programs and balance the budget. Senate majority whip John Cornyn of Texas called the budget "dead on arrival". The plan will have to fight its way through Congress, where Democrats and more liberal Republicans are already balking at plans to cut holes in a social safety net that has been saving down-on-their-luck Americans from penury and worse since Lyndon Johnson was president.

The plan is laced with $3.6 trillion in cuts to domestic agencies, food stamps, Medicaid, highway funding, crop insurance and medical research, among others.

It is unclear if the Republican-controlled House and Senate will be able to pass a budget blueprint for the fiscal year starting on October 1.

The Medicaid healthcare plan for the poor is slated for about an $800 billion cut, reversing the expansion that former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, brought to Republican states like West Virginia, Arkansas and Kentucky with large populations of poor people. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the minority leader.

"If the state can't [make up for the loss of federal funds], it will result in us needing to reduce compensation to doctors and hospitals, or the state may direct that we reduce benefits or that we become more aggressive in determinations of whether people are eligible", he said.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, notes it is up to Congress to determine how government is funded. Trump reportedly considered vetoing the spending bill at the time, and more recently, he threatened to not sign the next spending bill to keep the government running in September if his priorities aren't reflected in it.

"The goal of a good budget, of really any good policy goal, should be around ending poverty". Experts! What do they know? Congress hasn't passed a budget in several years, instead passing resolutions that continue prior-year funding levels over short-term periods.

On taxes, Trump promises an overhaul that would cut tax rates but rely on erasing tax breaks and economic growth to avoid adding to the deficit.

Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney, defending an administration that promises more economic growth than many think it can deliver, said Tuesday it's the Obama administration that went overboard in its forecasts for growth.

Senate Intelligence Committee Issues Two New Subpoenas For Michael Flynn
Cummings said he is only releasing selected portions of the report but reserves the right to release more in the future. Brennan told senior lawmakers as early as last summer that the Russian operation was squarely created to support Trump.

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

But not all House Republicans heeded that call. "They're not mere shavings, they're deep, deep cuts". "I've said before these cuts that are being proposed are draconian". They're not mere savings. The leave program is expected to cost about $25 billion a year and benefit 1.3 million people.

But Democrats will still look to pin the document on their Republican colleagues. In agriculture, the proposed budget would limit subsidies to farmers, including for purchasing crop insurance, a move already attacked by farm state lawmakers.

"It's our responsibility to advocate for the force and for the need for a joint force that can do what the nation asks us to do to defend the nation", said Army Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, the director of force structure, resources and assessment for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

6 — The number of weeks of paid leave for new mothers and fathers under a proposed program to help new parents "bond with a new child without worrying about paying their bills".

As always, the president's budget is an opening bid in a protracted legislative process, and has no chance of becoming law. "I'm sure all of us would be". I have no idea what he's thinking right now.

The President's budget largely leaves massive entitlement programs alone.

Job training for unemployed coal miners would be threatened and drug treatment programs would face cuts at a time when heroin and prescription pill addictions are tearing at rural America. He noted that "the mandatory part of the budget, of spending, is rapidly growing while the discretionary appropriated accounts are dwindling".

The President's approval ratings in many key swing districts across the country are low.

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