Purdue defends budget's food stamp cuts to angry Democrats

Terrell Bush
May 31, 2017

"We want to measure compassion, true compassion, instead by the number of people that we help get off of these programs and get back in charge of their own lives", Mulvaney told the House Committee on the Budget Wednesday following the proposal's first formal introduction to lawmakers.

Mnuchin's comments came shortly after White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said that government "receipts now are coming a little bit slower than expected". He says the "costs of excessive government commitments" has "forced us into hard choices".

Democrats charged that Trump's cuts would rip apart the social safety net.

The plan, Trump's first as president, combines $4.1 trillion for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year with a promise to bring the budget back into balance in 10 years, relying on aggressive spending cuts, a surge in economic growth - and a $2 trillion-plus accounting gimmick. Mr. Trump had campaigned on the populist fairy tale of trickle-down economics, insisting tax cuts would unleash new investment that would boost the economy and pay themselves in the long run.

Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., laced into the president's budget plan, saying it was based on fanciful economic predictions of high growth rates but low inflation and bond yields that would make managing the government's $20 trillion debt less costly. The budget does not include cuts to Medicare nor does it request a reduction of core Social Security benefits.

Rep. Katherine Clark of MA asked whether a private school should be allowed to receive public money if it rejects LGBT students, DeVos says that decision is best left for states to make. "If the Trump budget were enacted, many of Idaho's public efforts from providing access to health care to continuing the restoration of education funding would be jeopardized".

The White House's budget proposal calls for an $800 billion Medicaid cut over the next decade as well as a $193 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp program over the same duration.

DeVos answered that that was not the federal government's business, but was for states and locales to decide.

More than half the states now cover children above the administration's proposed cutoff, Riley said.

Clark then asked whether DeVos saw a role for the federal government to intervene if a private school rejected African-American students, and DeVos repeated her answer. "Now, you tell me if that sounds like the real world", Mulvaney said.

Nevertheless, South Carolina Democrats, including Rep. Jim Clyburn and Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin criticized the budget for these and other cuts to programs, such as the Community Development Block grant program that funds housing and infrastructure projects.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly defended proposed budget cuts to state and local grant programs and a proposal to spend more than $2.7 billion to add thousands of new immigration jail beds despite steep declines of arrests along the Mexican border. The answer is not to take money out of the hands of people who readily put it back into the economy as a matter of survival.

"Your budget proposal would make communities. less safe", Lowey said. He suggested that in future budgets that may not be the case.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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