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GOP Senate: Trump's Budget Dead On Arrival

Senate Republicans have signaled that President Donald Trump's budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 would be largely ignored once congressional appropriators begin to work on a budget deal.

On May 22, the Trump administration released its 2018 budget, calling for dramatic cuts to non-military discretionary spending over the next decade. If the plan were passed without alteration, Medicaid would be reduced by $610 billion, food stamp benefits by $191 billion, employment programs for the disabled by $49 billion, child tax credits by $40 billion and student loan forgives by $27 billion by 2027, according to Quartz.

On May 23, Senate Majority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky asserted that the GOP-majority Congress would view President Donald Trump's budget as merely a suggestion and craft their own budget plan, The Hill reports.

"We'll be taking into account what the president is recommending, but it will not be determinative in every respect," McConnell said on Capitol Hill. "I didn't engage in a ringing endorsement of President [George W.] Bush's budgets either."

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, noting his dissatisfaction with the proposed budget's increases for defense spending, described the administration's proposal "dead on arrival."

Meanwhile, McConnell noted that any budget deal passed by Congress would require input from Democrat lawmakers, who would unanimously oppose the majority of the Trump budget's proposed cuts, The Washington Post reports.

"We'll have to negotiate the top line with Senate Democrats, we know that," McConnell said. "They will not be irrelevant in the process, and at some point, here in the near future, those discussions will begin."

"This is kind of the game," Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said of negotiating with the Democrats. "We know the president's budget won't pass as proposed."

Steve Ellis, vice president of the nonpartisan non-profit Taxpayers for Common Sense, noted that history is littered with White House budget plans that were never incorporated into congressional spending deals.

"It's true of any president's budget that somebody on the Hill is going to say, 'It's dead on arrival,'" Ellis told USA Today. "And with the cuts envisioned and changes to entitlement programs, this one may be deader than most."

On May 23, Senate Minority Leader Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York asserted that the Trump budget would betray many of the president's voters.

"The irony of the Trump budget is that it hurts many of the people who supported him most in the campaign," Schumer said on the Senate floor. "That’s the great irony of the budget. When you add it all up, the Trump budget is a comic book villain-bad budget."

Sources: The Hill, QuartzUSA Today, The Washington Post / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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