Food stamps, Medicaid on chopping block in Trump's budget

Olive Rios
May 23, 2017

Under a 2011 budget law, fiscal 2018 defense spending would have to be capped at $549 billion and non-defense spending at $515 billion unless lawmakers opt to change the caps.

Trump, who is traveling overseas and will miss the unveiling of his plan, wants lawmakers to cut $3.6 trillion in government spending over 10 years, balancing the budget by the end of the decade, according to a preview given to reporters on Monday.

"We're not going to measure success by how much money we spend but by how many people we actually help", he said. He also touted a proposal to require a Social Security number for anyone receiving refundable child care credits, denying them to undocumented immigrants who may pay taxes if they have children who were born in this country and are US citizens.

The budget adds details to the earlier blueprint, which proposed a $54 billion, 10 percent increase for the military above an existing cap on Pentagon spending, financed by an equal cut to nondefense programs, which meant slashing medical research and foreign aid.

States like MI could see major changes in programs such as Medicaid, welfare benefits and farm subsidies under President Donald Trump's budget to be unveiled Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration has lobbied against ending the Medicaid expansion and argues that Michigan's unique program could be a national model because it includes incentives for healthy behaviors and cost-sharing by recipients. The new budget also covers "mandatory" spending, including such big-ticket items as Medicare and Social Security.

Trump upheld his promise - for the most part - that his budget would not cut Medicare and Social Security, two social programs that deficit hawks have long targeted for reforms.

The White House has dubbed it, "The New Foundation for American Greatness" with an unwritten subtitle: "The Taxpayer First Budget". The legislative branch is certain to come up with far different proposals through the appropriations process of horse-trading and House-Senate compromise.

President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $1.6 billion to begin building a wall along the border with Mexico, far short of the amount needed for a project sharply criticized by Democrats and even some conservative Republicans.

They said that unless Trump is able to rally broader support and win more funding for construction in another fiscal year, his plans for a "big lovely wall" that he promised during his election campaign last year may not be realized.

"The President's budget is incredibly short-sighted and reckless", said U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township in a statement released tonight.

"With his budget, the president is essentially saying our way of life in MI doesn't matter", he said. Mulvaney will appear before congressional committees to discuss the budget later in the week.

Such cuts — which include "zeroing out" programs like community development block grants and heating aid to the poor — were ignored when Congress earlier this month wrapped up a massive spending bill for the current year.

The documents provided Monday add to those other cuts, including the elimination of subsidized student loans and the creation of a single "income-driven student loan repayment plan" that would set monthly payments at 12.5% of discretionary income and forgive any balances for undergraduate borrowers after 15 years. Cuts to food stamps, known as SNAP ($193 billion over 10 years) 3.

-A 10-year $US191 billion reduction - or 30 per cent - in food stamps.The program serves about 42 million people. It also would increase funding for defense for every other year in the next decade relative to baseline projections.

The first: What does the administration expect will happen with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the House legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare? The CBO had estimated that some 14 million people could lose coverage under the initial Republican proposal by 2018.

The plan cuts nearly $3.6 trillion from an array of benefit programs and domestic agencies over the coming decade.

Enrollment in SNAP soared in the years after the Great Recession, leading some critics to label former President Obama the "food stamp president".

Trump's plan, drawn up by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, lands as Trump's GOP allies in Congress are grappling with repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law and looking ahead to a hard rewrite of the loophole-clogged USA tax code.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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