Trump's Proposed 2018 BudgetDennis Kucinich Discusses The Deep State's War On Trump 02-14-2017
March 28, 2017
(AP) - The White House is calling for immediate budget cuts of $18 billion from programs like medical research, infrastructure and community development grants to help pay for the border wall that President Donald Trump repeatedly promised would be financed by Mexico.
The administration would eliminate $1.2 billion in National Institutes of Health research grants, a favorite of both parties. The community development block grant program, also popular, would be halved, amounting to a cut of $1.5 billion, and Trump would strip $500 million from a transportation project known as TIGER grants.
Like Trump's 2018 budget, which was panned by both Democrats and Republicans earlier this month, the proposals have little chance to be enacted.
But they could create bad political optics for the struggling Trump White House, since the administration asked earlier for $3 billion to pay for the Trump's controversial U.S.-Mexico border wall and other immigration enforcement plans. During the campaign, Trump promised Mexico would pay for the wall.
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Now, the White House wants the wall and Pentagon increases to be paid for using steep, immediate cuts to research into medical cures and funding for new roads and bridges here at home, among dozens of proposed cuts.
"The administration is asking the American taxpayer to cover the cost of a wall — unneeded, ineffective, absurdly expensive — that Mexico was supposed to pay for, and he is cutting programs vital to the middle class to get that done," said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer of New York. "Build the wall or repair or build a bridge or tunnel or road in your community? What's the choice?"
Unlike the budget document itself, the roster of cuts do not represent official administration proposals. Instead, they were sent to Capitol Hill as a set of "options" for GOP staff aides and lawmakers crafting a catchall spending bill for the ongoing budget year, which ends Sept. 30. That suggests the White House isn't determined to press the cuts.
The documents arrived as negotiations over a catchall spending package continue Tuesday with the aim of averting a partial government shutdown at the end of next month. The package would wrap up $1.1 trillion in unfinished spending bills and address the administration's request for an immediate $30 billion in additional Pentagon spending.