Sen. Mark Warner responds to Trump budget proposal

The new budget asks Congress to allot $5 billion in new funding for border wall construction, alongside an additional $3.6 billion of military construction funds to be diverted to wall construction under the auspices of the president's national emergency. Back in 2016, Mr. Trump suggested he would force Mexico pay for the border wall by threatening to cut off billions of dollars in money transfers that Mexicans who are living in the USA send home. He said Trump added almost $2 trillion to deficits with the GOP's "tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price".

Presidential budgets are rarely enacted, but Trump's sets up a new confrontation with Congress. That report projected muted economic gains in coming years, partly because of the fading impact of tax cuts and higher spending.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., added that Trump caused a government shutdown in December because he defied Congress and demanded a wall.

The budget roadmap would increase defense spending by almost 5 percent to 750 billion dollars from 716 billion dollars in fiscal year 2019.

The White House forecast in its budget that the economy will grow at an average of 3 per cent each year over the next decade, including 3.2 per cent in 2019.

He also expects Democrats to propose shoring up spending for Obama's Affordable Care Act rather than include money for a proposed Medicare for all program and to contemplate a comprehensive immigration reform proposal in next year's budget.

Likewise, the nonprofit Afterschool Alliance advocacy organization in a released statement Monday said the proposal will outrage parents, educators, and others who recognize how after-school programs keep young children safe.

It will also increase resources to fight the opioid epidemic with money for prevention, treatment, research and recovery, the administration said.

"America is roaring back, and now is the time to invest in the future of America", President Donald Trump said of the newly released budget entitled, "A Budget for A Better America: Promises Kept".


But the cuts would not be enough to balance the budget in that timeframe. The administration put the blame on Congress for ignoring proposed cuts previous year, which has resulted in delaying when balance can be achieved.

In a statement on Monday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the proposed cuts show "commitment to spending taxpayer dollars wisely and efficiently by consolidating or eliminating duplicative and ineffective federal programs".

The House voted February 26 to block the emergency declaration, and enough Republicans have said they'll also vote against it for it to pass in the Senate. If approved, it could provide enough additional funding to complete the 722 miles of barrier that has become a centerpiece of Trump's campaign and presidency - one which he infamously and repeatedly said Mexico would pay for.

The budget is also expected to cut anti-poverty programs and impose new work requirements that will apply to welfare areas like health care, housing and nutrition assistance, according to the Washington Post. The one-time allocation is championed by the president's daughter Ivanka Trump.

The White House argues Trump has proposed the most spending reductions of any president and that the tax cuts will pay for themselves and spur higher growth for years, which should also help reduce the deficit.

Trump's budget also calls for the extension of the 2017 tax cuts, which are now expected to expire in 2025.

Perhaps you thought our latest knock-down, drag-out wall fight-the game of chicken that led to the longest government shutdown in history, followed by Trump's breaking the glass on a national emergency declaration-would be the last battle over the border wall for a while.

"This budget uses every gimmick and huge assumptions and it still doesn't get somewhere to be proud of", said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

  • Tracy Klein