Wenstrup ‘optimistic’ on Trump budget

Staff and wire reports



Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-2nd Dist.) said Tuesday that President Trump’s budget proposal leaves him “optimistic” that he can tackle budgetary issues that were part of the reason he ran for Congress in the first place.

“One of the reasons I first came to serve in Congress was because I saw our government wasting Americans’ hard-earned dollars, digging deeper into debt, and failing to fully equip our Armed Forces or support those who have served,” said Wenstrup.

“With an administration committed to partnering on these priorities, I am optimistic that we can now turn them into realities. The president’s proposal starts the process,” Wenstrup said.

“Now, the House will continue to work to craft our own budget that aggressively accounts for taxpayer dollars, addresses our long-term budgeting crisis, and resources our service members with the capabilities they need to complete their missions and come home safe,” Wenstrup added.

Trump fulfilled a major campaign promise Tuesday, proposing a $4.1 trillion budget plan that would upend Washington in a big way. But he drew rebukes, even from some Republican allies, for the plan’s cuts to the social safety net for the poor and a broad swath of other domestic programs.

The budget, Trump’s first as president, combines his spending plan for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year with a promise to balance government books after a decade, relying on aggressive cuts, a surge in economic growth — and a $2 trillion-plus accounting gimmick.

“Through streamlined government, we will drive an economic boom that raises incomes and expands job opportunities for all Americans,” Trump declared in his budget message.

The Trump budget proposal reflects a conservative vision of smaller government, a drastic rollback of programs for the poor and disabled to prod them into the workforce and a robust hike for the military and border security. It foresees scuttling Barack Obama’s health care law and an overhaul of the tax code, a boon to the wealthiest Americans.

The plan is laced with $3.6 trillion in cuts to domestic agencies, food stamps, Medicaid, highway funding, crop insurance and medical research, among others. Many of the voters who propelled Trump into the presidency last November would see significantly less from the federal government.

“We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but by the number of people we help get off those programs,” said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and a former tea party congressman.

At the same time, the blueprint boosts spending for the military by tens of billions and calls for $1.6 billion for a border wall with Mexico that Trump repeatedly promised voters the U.S. neighbor would finance. Mexico emphatically rejects that notion.


Staff and wire reports