Trump budget chief defends plan in face of opposition

President Donald Trump's budget chief is defending the president's plans to cut social programs as a means to increase economic growth to 3 percent and put "taxpayers first". The president wants to cut the USAID budget by 30 percent. Representative Mark Meadows, who heads the House of Representatives' hard-right Freedom Caucus, called it "a great step forward" for conservatives, adding: "It's all about economic growth".

The president's budget requires that those receiving the child care tax credit and the earned income tax credit now must have a Social Security number to claim those tax credits.

The budget's general proposed cuts to the EPA paint a grim picture for environmentalists concerned with environmental pollution, including lead. They're not mere savings.

Eric Ueland, Republican staff director of the Senate Budget Committee, holds a copy of President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 federal budget.

"It appears to be the most egregious accounting error in a presidential budget in the almost 40 years I have been tracking them", he wrote on his blog.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan put a spotlight on how the US handles lead poisoning-especially among communities of color. Trump's own base of political support also could be undermined.

Perdue said the budget would fully pay for food stamp benefits in the coming year, but suggests policy changes to Congress. Trump's proposal would shift some cost to states, target benefits to the poorest people, increase work requirements and limit some eligibility.

"Clearly, getting to regulatory reform and tax reform will help us grow this economy", Ryan told reporters.

Atop Rogers' list of worries is Trump's proposed elimination of the $146 million Appalachian Regional Commission that has helped bring projects such as job training to unemployed coal miners, a broadband technology center to Kentucky and high-tech medical equipment to impoverished regions. But he drew rebukes, even from some Republican allies, for the plan's jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net for the poor and a broad swath of other domestic programs.

The president seeks to trim $610 bilion from Medicaid and over $192 billion from food stamp programs while increasing military funding by $54 billion over the next decade.

"Students, workers, and small businesses can not succeed in an economy that is crippled by too much government and too much debt", she said.

The proposal released Tuesday aims to reduce spending by $3.6 trillion over a span of 10 years. Since 1965, Medicaid has operated as an open-ended "partnership" with the states. And it's where those cuts are coming from that has some lawmakers anxious.

"It's a unsafe plan that would raise the number of uninsured Americans, take food out of the mouths of hungry children, and drive more families into poverty", Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, said in a written statement. There's little appetite among Capitol Hill Republicans for a genuine effort to balance the budget; GOP lawmakers this year are instead pressing to rewrite the tax code and forge a spending deal with Democrats that would permit higher military spending and restore Trump proposals to cut domestic agencies and foreign aid.

Independent fiscal watchdogs and Democrats have been making the exact same point for weeks, noting that outside forecasters, like the Congressional Budget Office, only expect an average of 1.9% growth a year in the next decade. "I certainly share the goal of reducing the size and scope of the federal government, but as I continue to meet with constituents, it is apparent that many of these programs have countless benefits in our community".

The president does not touch the third rail of entitlement programs - Social Security and Medicare - but does cut $800 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years.

"What he has shown is that rural America is just about at the bottom of his list", said Bustos.