Medicine

Trump's budget set to spark yet another fight with Democrats

Trump's budget set to spark yet another fight with Democrats

Trump introduced his new budget proposal for 2020 of $4.7 billion, which includes, "a dramatic expansion on programs and initiatives with Republicans", such as defense spending and barriers on the border with Mexico, according to the Washington Post.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, pointed to the budget's call for cuts to scientific research as risky to the nation's reputation as a leader in scientific research and innovation.

When he first ran for president, Donald Trump blasted the Obama administration for hurting senior citizens by slashing billions from Medicare.

The Committee for a Responsible Budget said Trump's budget would add $10.5trn to the debt over a decade, and criticised the White House for what it called a "fantasy assumption" of 3% economic growth over that timeframe.

Senate Democrats reiterated their objections to the cuts the White House proposed this week to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security during a budget committee hearing Wednesday. The Republican lawmaker cited a report from the Congressional Budget Office that the public debt is expected to reach 78 percent of gross domestic product this year.

Acting White House budget director Russell Vought said Monday that border security is "deteriorating by the day", and pointed a finger at Democrats for continuing to refuse the president's requests to fund the wall. Nevertheless, he also suggests that there will be steep cuts in environmental production as well as education. The budget embodies long-standing Republican ambitions "to make Medicare wither on the vine", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

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"If we can squeeze out waste and inefficiency in the government that would be great, as this is taxpayers' money and we want to use it well", she said.

The president's budget asks for $750 billion for overall defense spending, an increase of 5 percent from the 2019 level.

"These cuts in the Trump budget aren't a tightening of the belt or a trimming of the fat, or even a serious attempt at reining in spending", House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said during the hearing. "I remember the president said he would not cut healthcare programs, but he is proposing to do that with this budget".

If the budget is approved by Congress, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget would be reduced by $8.7 billion (16.4%) next year. The National Institutes of Health, which conducts and supports medical research, would lose $4.5 billion in funding, another politically unpopular idea, though the Department of Veteran's Affairs would gain an additional $6.5 billion from the year before. Trading Medicare and Medicaid for tax breaks, how that's going to help anybody in this room, or most of the people you live with?

These reductions are not that cut and simple, but it boils down to Trump once again breaking promises, which will have a devastating impact on the quality of life in the nation, particularly for those who depend on a strong social safety net. It would have capped federal spending on the entire program and left millions of people uninsured.


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