Even GOP Lawmakers Say Trump Budget Has No Chance

Cuts labeled 'draconian, careless'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2017 4:44 AM CDT
Trump Budget 'Won't Survive Congress'
A portion of President Trump's first proposed budget.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

President Trump's first budget proposal appears to have little chance of getting past the people who actually control federal spending. The sweeping spending cutbacks were denounced as extreme Thursday even by Trump's Republican allies in Congress. The cuts to domestic programs are "draconian, careless, and counterproductive," Rep. Hal Rogers, former chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement. "We will certainly review this budget proposal, but Congress ultimately has the power of the purse." The Washington Post interviewed several GOP lawmakers and found that while they were OK with the concept of funding increased military spending with cuts elsewhere, none would endorse the Trump budget. A roundup of coverage:

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that some of Trump's deepest proposed cuts would hit the areas where his support is strongest. He wants to scrap funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, an agency fighting poverty across a region where 399 out of 420 counties chose Trump over Hillary Clinton.
  • Paul Ryan described Trump's proposal as just the beginning of the budget process. "Do I think we can cut spending and get waste out of government? Absolutely," the House speaker said. "Where and how and what numbers, that's something we'll be figuring out as time goes on."

  • Sen. John McCain gave a blunt assessment of the proposal's chances in the Senate, the Hill reports. "It is clear that this budget proposed today cannot pass the Senate," he said, adding that whatever plan Congress comes up with must include enough money to "rebuild the military."
  • Politico lists six surprises it found in the Trump budget, including increasing funding for the Census Bureau and for dealing with the opioid addiction crisis.
  • Researchers weren't expecting much from Trump's budget, but they were still taken aback by the scale of the proposed cuts, the New York Times reports. "As to climate change, I think the president was fairly straightforward: We're not spending money on that anymore," White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said. Medical research was also cut in a move denounced by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Now is not the time to slow progress in finding new treatments and cures for patients with cancer," the association of cancer specialists said in a statement.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle reports that one of the cuts causing the most anger is the proposal to strip Meals on Wheels of federal funding. The group described cuts as "exasperating," though most of its funding comes from corporate and individual donations.
  • MarketWatch columnist Diana Furchtgott-Roth has a different take on the budget. She argues that Trump should have made deeper cuts—and should be planning cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his fuller, 10-year budget—to reduce "bloated" Washington spending and cut the "staggering" deficit.
(More Trump budget stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.