Poor and disabled big losers in Trump budget; military wins


Trump, who as a candidate pledged to protect Medicaid, sent Congress a fully-developed budget bill that would slow the growth of federal support for Medicaid by $610 billion over the next decade. It will be officially released on Tuesday.

Food stamp cuts would drive millions from the program, while a wave of Medicaid cuts - on top of more than $800 billion in the House-passed health care bill - could deny nursing home care to millions of elderly poor people. Those cuts rang alarm bells for many Republicans, who were particularly upset about proposals to eliminate community development block grants, slash medical research and eviscerate foreign aid. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said as he predicted the Medicaid cuts wouldn't survive the Senate.

"Almost every president's budget proposal that I know of is basically dead on arrival", Sen.

Fellow Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., hailed Trump's call to boost military spending but said "drastic cuts" to the federal crop insurance program were "misguided".

"We need people to go to work", White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Monday. "It's a sad day in Massachusetts when we can't get our Governor to speak out loudly against one of the most shocking budgets in history - one that pads the wallets of the nation's wealthiest while ripping the rug out from under our working families and those in need", said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair he said in a statement.

The government hasn't run a surplus since the late 1990s when a budget deal between Democrat Bill Clinton and congressional Republicans combined with the longest USA economic recovery in history produced four years of black ink from 1998 to 2001. And in order to balance the budget in a decade, it assumes the economy will start growing by 3 percent per year - an estimate far above what the Congressional Budget Office and other economists predict.

The funding cuts in Trump's plan for the fiscal year beginning in October would mark a stark decrease in non-military US government engagement overseas as the administration pursues Trump's "America First" world view. "The heartbreaking truth is that if this budget were enacted, the results would be catastrophic for countless women and their families - cancers and diseases going undetected, higher maternal mortality and more unintended pregnancies".

In keeping with his campaign promise, Mr. Trump would leave core Social Security benefits and Medicare untouched. His cuts to domestic agencies budgets approved by lawmakers each year would be redirected to the Pentagon.

The budget does feature a handful of domestic initiatives, including a six-week paid parental leave program championed by Trump's daughter Ivanka that would be designed and financed by the states through cuts to unemployment insurance. Numerous regional programs the administration has targeted for the chopping block have bipartisan support. Those cuts are paired with the repeal of Obamacare's expansion of the program to 14 million people and amount to, by decade's end, an nearly 25 percent cut from present projections.

The budget proposal envisions cuts to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program, a cornerstone of USA global health assistance, which supports HIV/AIDS treatment, testing and counseling for millions of people worldwide. "I think this is a huge illustration about why being unwilling to talk about the real issues - Social Security and Medicare and taxes - means you then you end up gutting all these programs for low income people".

Other vulnerable Republican members of Congress, up for election in congressional districts that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won, were quick to denounce the plan, looking to contrast themselves with Trump.

-Planned Parenthood: The budget would prohibit any funding for certain entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood. She suggested the damage would be mitigated by Congress, which is already pushing back on the cuts.

Republicans are under pressure to deliver on promised tax cuts, the cornerstone of the Trump administration's pro-business economic agenda, which would cut the business tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, and reduce the number of personal tax brackets.

"Compassion needs to be on both sides of that equation", he said.



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