While the President’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal slated to drop mid-day Monday likely will not be approved by Congress, it serves as a blueprint for the Administration’s priorities during an election year and could set the tone for spending – and saving – over the next four years should Trump win reelection.
As with prior budget proposals, this year’s budget request seeks billions of dollars in savings by bringing down non-defense spending by 5% to $599 billion, while increasing military funding 0.3% to $740.5 billion. At the same time, it seeks an additional $2 billion for border wall construction and additional funds for immigration enforcement.
The cuts to non-defense spending reportedly include a proposed $181 billion decrease in funds for SNAP over the next decade, and once again pitch controversial work requirements that would impact not only the food stamp program, but also housing assistance and other welfare programs.
The proposed cuts are in line with previous Presidential budget requests, notes the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which point out in a statement that “all three previous Trump budgets have targeted benefits and services for households of modest means for deep cuts.”
For example, “last year’s budget… proposed substantial cuts to SNAP (formerly food stamps), housing assistance, and other basic income assistance for families with children and people with disabilities, among other programs.”
A ‘destructive and irrational’ budget
The proposal has been slammed by many congressional leaders, including Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee, who described the President’s 2021 budget as “destructive and irrational.”
In a statement, he complained that Trump “is proposing deep cuts to critical programs that help American families and protect our economic and national security. Furthermore, the budget reportedly includes destructive changes to Medicaid, SNAP, Social Security and other assistance programs that help Americans make ends meet – all while extending his tax cuts for millionaires and wealthy corporations.”
Yarmuth’s assessment of the upcoming proposed budget was echoed by the chief mathematician for the Senate Budget committee Bobby Kogan who tweeted on Sunday that the “first look at some of the details of Trump’s budget” are “enormously cruel.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also criticized the proposal for “brazenly inflicting savage multi-billion cuts to Medicare and Medicaid,” and seeking “devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on.”
The proposed budget also appears to fly in the face of a bipartisan two-year budget deal that President signed into law six months ago after negotiating an agreement with Congress. In August, Congress enacted the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, without which statutory caps on discretionary funding set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 would have triggered $125 billion of cuts to discretionary spending, including cuts to the Community Service Block Grant, which allows communities to address poverty risks at the local level through employment, education, housing, nutrition and more, according to the House Budget Committee.