Mulvaney defends Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget before Congress

WASHINGTON- Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney pushed back against Democratic claims that social safety net cuts included in the Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget proposal might harm poor Americans.

“We no longer want to measure compassion by the number of programs that we have or the number of people that are on those programs. We want to measure compassion, true compassion, instead by the number of people that we help get off of these programs and get back in charge of their own lives,” Mulvaney told the House Committee on the Budget Wednesday following the proposal’s first formal introduction to lawmakers.

Muvlaney argued that many of the proposed cuts would be applied to programs that often provided benefits to recipients whose eligibility was at times questionable.

Mulvaney told the committee that the FY 2018 budget seeks to eliminate the federal deficit within in the next decade and also strives to grow the economy at an annual rate of three percent.

The Committee’s Ranking Democrat John Yarmuth (Ky.) suggested that the Administration’s budget prioritizes the military at the expense of other important federal programs.

“That’s a frightening concept, I think, for this country-if we have to ignore the portion of the federal budget that invests in people-whether its job training, education, important medical research and other innovations or whether we buy guns-but that’s what we’re being asked to do in this budget,” he said.

The White House’s budget proposal calls for an $800 billion Medicaid cut over the next decade as well as a $193 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp program over the same duration. The budget does not include cuts to Medicare nor does it request a reduction of core Social Security benefits.

It requests a $54 billion hike in defense spending that would be offset by making drastic cuts to almost 20 federal agencies.

Funding for the National Institutes of Health would decrease by nearly $6 billion in the next fiscal year. The Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts are among other agencies and programs that also would receive substantial cuts.

The White House has requested $1.6 billion in the budget to begin construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border so as to coincide with President Trump’s campaign pledge to crack down on illegal immigration. The administration has requested $2.6 billion for overall border security.

Several Republicans in both the House and Senate have joined Democrats in expressing concern over proposed cuts included in the Administration’s budget.

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News