Members of Massachusetts’ congressional delegation took issue this week with President Donald Trump’s newly unveiled $4.7 trillion budget plan for 2020, arguing that its proposed border wall spending and cuts to domestic programs offer a “very clear picture of where (his) values lie.”
Massachusetts Democrats criticized the president’s call for a 9 percent cut to programs that support nutrition assistance, pre-school grants and job training; billions of dollars in reductions to Medicare and Medicaid spending and proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
They further condemned the budget proposal’s inclusion of $8.6 billion to construct a wall along the United States-Mexico border, among other things.
Offering that federal budgets reflect the country’s values, House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark said Trump’s plan makes clear where his priorities lie.
“It’s a new fiscal year, but the Trump budget is telling the same, cruel story: corporations before working Americans. ... Instead of using our federal dollars to invest in policies that lift up all Americans, the president is doubling-down on the GOP’s 2017 ‘tax scam’ by providing additional tax cuts to the wealthy and attempting to waste tax dollars on an ineffective border wall,” the Melrose congresswoman said in a statement.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, agreed that Trump’s proposal “doesn’t reflect our values one dime.”
“We believe in opportunity and that means investing to build a future – not just for some of our kids, but for all of our kids,” she tweeted.
Casting the president’s plan as a “big wet kiss to the super-rich and giant corporations,” the senator slammed language included in the budget proposal that she offered would: eliminate the Public Student Loan Forgiveness program that helps public servants with student debt; “wipe out” community block grants for cities and towns to use on public safety and other services; cut $53.4 billion from Medicaid and $220 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; and “gut” the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Warren added that in addition to such cuts, Trump’s budget plan calls for “more ships, more jets, more nuclear weapons, and more money for his monument to hate and division.”
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, argued that the president’s budget proposal seeks to "finance his tax giveaway to big corporations and those at the top by going after Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”
He posted a clip of himself putting the president’s proposal “where it belongs” -- in a recycling bin.
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, contended that the president’s budget requests “have become an annual exercise in absurdity at this point.”
“While this year’s version is yet again dead on arrival here in Congress, it provides us an appalling view of what (and who) the president values. ... The priorities of Trump’s ‘Budget for a Better America’ are totally opposite of what Americans need,” he tweeted.
Markey criticized the president for proposing billions of dollars in cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, State Department, Department of Energy and Department of Transportation, while spending millions on a “dangerous, destabilizing and unnecessary so-called ‘low yield’ nuclear warhead” -- a weapon which he argued “no one in the military even asked for.”
Trump on Monday unveiled his record $4.7 trillion federal budget for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.
The wide-ranging proposal, which revives the president’s push to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, seeks to increase defense spending to $750 billion -- including a new Space Force in the military branch -- and to reduce non-defense accounts by 5 percent, according to the Associated Press.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Monday that the president’s budget plan continues his “pro-job creation policies, keeps taxes low, combats the opioid epidemic, protects our veterans, defends our nation and secures our borders.”
Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russ Vought added that Trump’s budget “reflects the president’s priorities to ensure that all Americans can benefit from the nation’s historic economic boom and record-low unemployment.”
He argued that the plan’s proposed $2.7 trillion in cuts are higher than those put forth by any previous administration and that the budget will balance in 15 years.
Original story here.