Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Trump expected to seek $8.6B for border wall in new budget

Trump plans to ask for another $8.6B to fund border wall: report Pelosi, Schumer threaten another gov't shutdown over President Trump's request for border wall funds
Leonard Rios | 13 March, 2019, 15:28

However, with his demand for funds for the border wall he wants, Trump has shown-with the longest federal shutdown on record and then his unilateral declaration of a "state of emergency"-that he is willing to go beyond what past presidents might have felt appropriate in order to achieve his budget and spending priorities".

Economists are calling for far slower growth than the Trump budget's rosy predictions. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called his cuts "cruel and shortsighted ... a roadmap to a sicker, weaker America". She said it would cut $1.5 trillion from Medicaid and $845 billion from Medicare over 10 years.

Chad Lord, policy director for the Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition expressed dismay about the proposed cut, but noted that throughout Trump's presidency, Congress has "refused to cut federal Great Lakes programs that are producing results in communities across the region". "Instead of investing in OH communities so they can grow and create jobs, President Trump is asking Ohioans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires by gutting Great Lakes programs and eliminating economic development efforts". This budget projects trillion dollar deficits for four straight years, and it would not balance for at least 15 years, embracing the deficits and debt that President Trump and Republicans have exploded with their GOP tax scam.

Presidential budget proposals rarely make it into law as is, as Congress usually puts its stamp on federal spending.

A good example of this can be seen in the portion of Trump's budget proposal dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Kamala D. Harris of California, criticized Mr. Trump's proposal on Twitter: "This would hurt our seniors and is yet another piece of evidence for why we need a new president".

"In spite of all that criticism, they're just continuing on that path", said Aviva Aron-Dine, vice president for health policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "Taxpayers First", Trump's was panned by some fiscal watchdogs as more piling on of debt by Trump with no course correction in sight.

"President Trump has somehow managed to produce a budget request even more untethered from reality than his past two", said Democratic Representative Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.

The most ambitious part of the proposal doesn't relate to the border wall at all.

The Trump administration included a 5% boost in defense spending in its third budget, the largest in history - along with request for $8.6 billion to build a wall along the Mexico border. Under the budget, Medicare spending would be reduced by an estimated $800 billion over 10 years.

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"Dangerous", not serious, a "sham", they said. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it an "Alice in Wonderland document".

Read the full budget plan here. The budget dangerously exploits the "Overseas Contingency Operations" account, created to fund active engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a workaround to fund base defense needs.

The budget slashes $2 trillion from health care spending, while trying to collect $100 million in new fees from the electronic cigarette industry to help combat a surge in underage vaping. And the budget touts the ramp-up of nuclear funds to begin a planned $1 trillion-plus renewed commitment to US nuclear weapons capacity.

A senior administration official told reporters the budget would cut US aid to foreign countries by $13 billion. Congress turned down both previous proposals.

Trump's budget would impose mandatory work-requirements for millions of people who receive welfare assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid and housing programs.

Under Trump's proposal, the budget deficit is projected to hit $1.1 trillion next year - the highest in a decade.

By refusing to raise the budget caps, Trump is signaling a fight ahead.

But Vought says it's time to break with congressional practices of the past.

To circumvent Congress, Trump declared a national emergency at the border last month as a way to access funding. One outside Trump adviser said the president is not that anxious that legislation undoing his February 15 emergency declaration will nearly certainly pass the Senate this week with at least some Republican votes. Congress appears to have enough votes to reject Trump's declaration, but not to overturn his pledged veto of their action.

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