Trump's first budget calls for deep cuts to Medicaid, other safety net programs

Almost $200 billion could be cut from the food stamp program.

ByABC News
May 23, 2017, 3:29 PM

— -- President Trump's first budget proposal to Congress slashes $3.6 trillion over 10 years in an effort to balance the federal budget. The cuts include $800 billion from Medicaid and $193 billion from food stamps.

The proposal for fiscal year 2018, called "A New Foundation for American Greatness," also includes upbeat projections for economic growth and tax revenue -- projections that factor in the passage of the GOP health care bill recently approved by the House.

"What Trumponomics is and what this budget is a part of, is trying to get to sustained 3 percent economic growth in this country again," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in a briefing with reporters on Monday. "We do not believe that is something fanciful."

In addition to the cuts, the proposal also includes a boost to military spending, $19 billion over 10 years for Ivanka Trump's paid family leave proposal and $1.6 billion for construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The proposal cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"We’re not going to measure success by how much money we spend, but by how many people we help," Mulvaney said of the reduced spending, adding that the White House believes in the "social safety net."

Like every presidential budget proposal, Trump's budget blueprint is expected to be dead on arrival in the House and Senate, with many members reluctant to approve deep cuts to Medicaid and foreign aid, among other programs.

Democrats are criticizing the White House proposal, accusing Trump of going back on his promise to his campaign supporters. The measure proposes cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance, which benefits more than 9 million Americans.

On Tuesday, Mulvaney argued that disability insurance "is not what most people consider social security."

"We are not kicking anybody off any program who really needs it," he said.

"Candidate Trump campaigned as a populist," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor today. "Since he has taken office he has governed like a hard-right conservative -- pushing policies that help the uber wealthy at the expense of the middle class."

"Based on what we know about this budget, the good news -- the only good news -- is that it’s likely to be roundly rejected by members of both parties here in the Senate -- just as the last budget was," Schumer said.

Republicans made clear they would review the budget as they draw up their own plans for government funding.

"As outlined in the Constitution, the Congress, not the executive branch, has the ‘power of the purse,'" House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said in a statement.

"There's an old adage in Washington: The president proposes, and Congress disposes," Rep. Leonard Lance, R-N.J., said in a statement. "The president's budget is just a blueprint; a wishlist."

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