Republicans in the House recently voted to cut healthcare funding so that they could deliver the wealthiest Americans a huge tax break. Now Politico is reporting that the House GOP is planning massive cuts to safety-net programs in the 2018 budget. The aim is to free up money to balance the budget as well as fund President Trump’s wish-list – including his proposed border wall.
For years, the Republicans have pushed for a ten year balanced budget. Medicare and Social Security account for more than 70% of mandatory spending. The GOP has always seen these programs as their go-to cuts, but Trump has made it known that he will refuse any cuts to these programs. This leaves programs like food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled and possibly veterans’ benefits on the chopping block.
Further, last month’s claim of victory by the Democrats in the government funding agreement resulted in the White House pushing for more funding of Trump’s priorities in the fiscal 2018 plan.
“ “The critique last time was that we didn’t embed enough Trump agenda items into our budget,’ said Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), a budget panel member. Trump has ‘made it clear it will be embedded in this budget. … And so people will see a process much more aligned with President Trump’s agenda in this forthcoming budget.’ ”
$400 billion cut from food stamps, financial support for disabled adults & children, and even veterans benefits.
— US Majority (@us_majority) May 15, 2017
Budget experts estimate that roughly $8 trillion needs to be cut from the budget, over ten years, in order for the Congress to balance the budget and include Trump’s agenda. As noted, Medicare and Social Security are off the table. The other large program the Congressional GOP proposed to cut in the past was ObamaCare and Medicare. These programs accounted for about 25% of their past proposed budget saving. However, Republicans lost a majority of these savings because the House AHCA bill left only $150 billion of actual cash.