Congressional Democrats blasted President Donald Trump’s $4.8 trillion 2021 budget as a “hit list” against hard-working American families and an election-year attempt to shrink federal safety net programs after he proposed Monday to make massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, student loan assistance, education and Medicaid—while boosting military spending and border enforcement.
“Trump’s Budget a Hit List, Not Wish List: Targets Children, Environment, and Patients … For Trump and his enablers, impeachment shows facts don’t matter; the climate crisis shows science doesn’t matter. Less than a wish list, it’s a hit list, with our children, the environment, and patients hit hard,” wrote Texas Democratic congressman Lloyd Doggett, a member of the House Budget Committee, in a statement Monday.
“Trump said he would ‘always protect your Medicare and Social Security. Always.’ Today, his budget is cutting them by hundreds of billions of dollars. I will do everything in my power to ensure that Congress rejects this budget of, for, and by the 1 percent,” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted Monday afternoon.
Trump’s proposal includes hitting the EPA with a 26 percent funding reduction, trimming 8 percent in education spending, eliminating subsidized federal student loans and cutting $292 billion in Medicaid and food stamp programs. He also promised to eliminate 50 programs he described as “wasteful.”
His proposed budget also acknowledges for the first time that previous promises of growth and investment never hit their 3 percent targets in either 2018 or 2019—but he nonetheless forecasts 3.1 percent growth in the coming year.
Democrats responded to Trump’s budget proposal by accusing the president of lying about his promises to protect Medicaid and other federal safety net programs, as well as by criticizing the relatively exorbitant amounts being spent in an election year on the military and border security.
“President Trump’s budget shows his State of the Union was lie upon lie to the American people,” Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded.
“The budget is a statement of values, and once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told USA Today.
Republican strategist Rick Tyler agreed, telling USA Today that Trump’s budget negates the president’s previous promises. “Politically, with its proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – all programs Trump promised not to touch – it’s a gift to Democrats.”
Kentucky Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee, described the spending proposal as “a destructive and irrational budget … Congress will stand firm against this president’s broken promises and his disregard for the human cost of his destructive policies.”
Trump’s budget proposal adds to the federal debt through his massive spending increases paired with tax cuts for the country’s wealthiest members. As budget hawks and conservatives have said, the deficit has increased by $2.8 trillion since he took office and is estimated to skyrocket to $4.7 trillion by 2030.
But Monica Crowley, Treasury Department Assistance Secretary, defended the budget on the Fox Business Network Monday: “When the president entered office he promised to revive the U.S. economy through tremendous economic growth and to rebuild America’s military capabilities. He is delivering on both of those promises but the president also understands that Washington’s habit of out-of-control spending without consequence has to be stopped before it threatens the economic prosperity that we’re all enjoying as a direct result of his common sense, pro-growth economic policies.”
Trump’s military spending, border wall and Space Force initiative are set to receive large taxpayer benefits. The president’s budget proposal diverts an additional $7.2 billion from the U.S. military for the border wall and Trump is requesting another $2 billion from Congress to build more than 800 miles of the wall this year.
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