Let’s face it: It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Trump administration.
A federal judge struck down another executive-issued travel ban, the House Intelligence Committee heard evidence on Russian interference into the presidential campaign, Senate Democrats pledged to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination, and let us not forget that Congress failed to get enough votes to pass a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act.
It appears that this administration is running on political fumes, and the release of Trump’s “skinny” budget did nothing to refuel his political tank.
A skinny budget is a president’s wish list in terms of how they would like to see the federal budget for the next fiscal year. A skinny budget does not include tax plans or mandatory spending items like Social Security and Medicare. The budget only outlines the plans for discretionary spending, which covers federal agencies, the military, and other national and international programs.
Several members Republican members of Congress have spoken out against the proposed budget which includes a $2.6 billion cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, a $10.9 billion cut to the State Department, a $12.6 billion cut from Health and Human Services, and a $9.2 billion cut from the Education Department.
These cuts, along with others, would offset increased spending to Veterans Affairs ($4.4 billion increase) Homeland Security ($2.8 billion increase) and the Defense budget ($52.3 billion increase). Even though Trump set out to drastically shrink the federal government, his overall cuts only amount to a 1.2 percent cut when accounting for new spending.
Raúl R. Labrador, a Republican from Idaho, has said, “We’re going to have to find a different way to balance the budget,” arguing that “the left is not going to let [Trump] decrease non-defense discretionary to the extent that he wants to.”
Paul Ryan, Republican Speaker of the House, has suggested that there are many changes to come
“But, do I think we can cut spending and get waste out of government? Absolutely. Where and how and what numbers, that’s something we’ll be figuring out as time goes on.”
Republican Iowa Senator, Chuck Grassley sent a simple reminder that “I have never seen a president’s budget proposal not revised substantially.”
Repubican Representative Hal Rogers of Kentucky said he was “disappointed” with the “draconian, careless and counterproductive” funding cuts, adding, “We will certainly review this budget proposal, but Congress ultimately has the power of the purse.”
Trump’s budget will need serious revision if he hopes for it to pass Congress. As it currently stands, Trump’s budget would endanger our environment, diplomatic relations, the arts and this country’s community and public health. It is a plan that I can not see anyone supporting.