Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Pa.'s federal lawmakers assess Trump budget

Pa.'s federal lawmakers assess Trump budget

Congress will make a lot of changes - and that's normal.

While he said he backs the broad goals under Trump's budget, he does find disagreement with some aspects.

On Capitol Hill, Trump's budget won polite praise from some Republicans, but Democrats were dismissive.

Trump's budget keeps to his campaign pledge to leave Medicare and Social Security pension benefits alone and contains spending increases for the military and veterans, but it treats most of the rest of the government as fair game.

Donald Trump's budget chief is defending the president's plans to cut social programs as a means to increase economic growth to 3 percent and put "taxpayers first".

Leading the defense of the president's plan is Mick Mulvaney, the director of Office of Management and Budget and a former congressman elected in the 2010 tea party wave.

The facts are that the proposed budget cuts Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program by $616 billion, food stamp program by $191 billion, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program by $22 billion and Social Security disability benefits by almost $70 billion -- all over the next decade.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., also voiced strong opposition to the proposal, calling it "fantasy" that's "based on unrealistic growth estimates that have already been rejected by leading economists" in a Tuesday tweet.

President Trump's budget proposals for the 2018 financial year include swingeing cuts to federal urban transport investment grants
President Trump's budget proposals for the 2018 financial year include swingeing cuts to federal urban transport investment grants

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney warned lawmakers on Wednesday that they may have to vote to increase the government's borrowing authority sooner than previously thought.

"If you're on food stamps, and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work", Mulvaney said. "If you are on disability and you should not be, we need you to go back to work". LSC is the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans and supports many programs in upstate NY. Slashing the budgets of those "critical programs" would take a toll on the Valley, Kaine said, highlighting the suite of cuts he projects would hurt Virginians most.

And Rep. Hal Rogers called the cuts to Medicaid "draconian".

Known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the program now serves 44 million people and cost $70 billion a year ago.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., praised Mulvaney for presenting a plan that tries to balance the budget within 10 years - then criticized the same proposal for cutting the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All told, about 42 million people receive SNAP benefits.

But to some experts, Trump's budget looks more like a cost shift from the federal government to the states and to people now benefiting from coverage expansions in the Obama years. While right-wing media commentators have repeatedly defended trickle-down economic fantasies that predict unlikely levels of economic growth because of tax cuts for the rich, assuming such growth when determining revenue projections for the federal budget hides the true cost of Trump's devastating budget plans. It would create three tax brackets - 10 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent - instead of the current seven, but specific details were left to further negotiations with Congress.

President's Trump's budget proposal, released this week while the nation's CEO is pressing flesh and caressing walls overseas, calls for a savings of $139 billion over the next 10 years by reducing funding for many domestic programs while boosting spending on the military and homeland security.

"We shot down more planes than anybody else because of our budget, because of sequestration and [continuing resolutions]", Graham said. Those at the DOT cover federal funding of local transit projects, discretionary funding of remote airports, grants to the Amtrak railroad service and an infrastructure grant program that began as part of the 2009 stimulus package. The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate NIH's Fogarty International Center, which focuses on global health and builds scientific expertise in developing countries to address pandemics.

Dollar slips after cautious Fed minutes
Rupkey noted that the jobless rate is already below the 4.7 percent level that the Fed considers as signaling full employment. Instead, as securities mature, the Fed will keep the proceeds rather than its current policy of investing in new securities.

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