President Trump can’t even get leading members of his own party in Congress to endorse his budget proposal.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate Majority Whip, and Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), one of the most senior members of the body, have both announced that the Trump budget — which severely cuts or outright eliminates multiple social safety net programs for an additional $52 billion in military spending — is “dead on arrival” in the Senate.
On Monday, a full day before Trump’s budget was officially rolled out, Sen. Cornyn already made it clear to NBC reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell that the body would not vote on the Trump budget proposal.
.@JohnCornyn says Trump's budget is "dead on arrival"
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) May 22, 2017
A preview of the budget released over the weekend showed that Trump planned to make steep cuts to Medicaid spending, despite promising to leave the program alone while on the campaign trail. The Medicaid cuts will be replaced by an additional tax cut package that will primarily benefit the super-rich, as the government would bleed out an estimated $5.5 trillion over ten years, while taxes aimed at the wealthiest Americans, like the Alternative Minimum Tax and the Estate Tax are repealed.
Other programs the billionaire real estate mogul-turned-president proposed were cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.
Additionally, the budget will allow states to impose Dickensian work requirements on impoverished Americans before they can qualify for life-saving food and healthcare assistance. This is despite economists at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) finding that work requirements don’t reduce poverty.
“Most recipients with significant barriers to employment never found work even after participating in work programs that were otherwise deemed successful,” CBPP wrote in its summary of the June 2016 study. “The large majority of individuals subject to work requirements remained poor, and some became poorer.”
Ironically, Sen. McCain’s problem with the Trump proposal is that it doesn’t spend enough on the military.
“President Trump’s $603 billion defense budget request is inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress,” McCain said in a public statement posted to his website. “After years of budget cuts amid growing threats around the world, this budget request fails to provide the necessary resources to restore military readiness, rebuild military capacity, and renew our military advantage with investments in modern capabilities.”
Kevin Wallace is a journalist with five years’ experience in print and digital media, and covers politics, media, and culture for the Resistance Report. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.