• September 29, 2020

Trump’s $4.8 Trillion Budget Would Cut Safety Net Programs and Boost Defense

Trump’s $4.8 Trillion Budget Would Cut Safety Net Programs and Boost Defense

Democrats dismissed the budget out of hand and vowed to prevent the changes from going into effect. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California accused Mr. Trump of “a complete reversal of the promises he made in the campaign and a contradiction of the statements he made at the State of the Union.”

Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, said that when he saw the budget, “I felt an immense sense of relief — relief that there is absolutely no chance of his ruthless cuts to critical programs ever becoming law.”

The budget maintains the administration’s tradition of highly optimistic economic growth forecasts, which have not borne out the past two years. Even then, it would leave the federal budget deficit only slightly smaller at the end of a possible second term for Mr. Trump, in 2024, than it was the year before he took office.

While Republicans have made relatively little noise about the ballooning federal deficit since Mr. Trump took office, compared with their actions to force budget tightening under President Barack Obama, some lawmakers suggested on Monday that the budget would not pass muster with fiscal conservatives.

“Presidents’ budgets are a reflection of administration priorities, but in the end, they are just a list of suggestions, as the power of the purse rests with Congress,” said Senator Michael B. Enzi, Republican of Wyoming and the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “Bipartisan consensus will be necessary to bring our debt and deficits under control. I hope to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put our country on a more sustainable fiscal course.”

Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota, sent out two statements that, while initially complimentary of Mr. Trump’s efforts to cut federal spending, voiced concerns with cuts to both defense and agriculture programs. Mr. Cramer said he disagreed with a number of provisions from the defense budget, including “cuts to intelligence-gathering resources for our military.” He also said that cuts to certain farm programs “would save little but inflict severe pain in American agriculture.”

Democrats do not plan to release a separate budget proposal, pointing to the overall figures for military and nonmilitary spending approved in the summer’s bipartisan budget deal.

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