Trump clearly does not care about any children except — possibly — his own, and apparently, he does not care about First Lady Melania Trump, either. He had no trouble going into major debt to give his top one percenters and the largest corporations huge tax breaks. Yet, when it came to children, he wanted to carve life-saving funds out of their little bodies and this is what he did to his wife.
As a result, and as expected, the president has come begging to cut necessary programs, the social contracts we have had in place for many decades. Trump decided to announce his dreadful cut to children’s health care.
How could he have not meant to send a slap to his wife, who just introduced her children’s program, her primary initiative the day before. The Huffington Post reported:
‘(Be Best) to educate children about the many issues they are facing today.’
The man sitting in the Oval Office officially made his horrific ask of Congress. He wanted to slash $15.4 billion dollars from monies its members already had approved, slashing $7 billion from children’s health care.
Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, said “Washington has a spending problem.” No, it has a tax cuts problem. Mulvaney told ABC News:
‘By utilizing a tool deployed by every President from Ford to Clinton, today’s historic $15.4 billion rescissions package is an obvious step toward reducing unnecessary spending and protecting the American taxpayer.’
Trump’s hack said that CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) received its funds from two different accounts and none of the reauthorized CHIP programs would be impacted.
He argued that Congress already let one source of those funds lapse last fall. Of course, those funds were sorely missed. Then, he said that the other source has excess monies, and he did not expect CHIP to use them. Really?
If that was not bad enough, Trump wanted to plunder $800 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations and the remaining funds from the Ebola outbreak. He also wanted to remove $4.3 from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program in the Energy Department. The White House claimed it has not given out a loan since 2011.
Trump tried to pressure Democrats into voting for his measure by extracting even more egregious issues, like the existing spending levels, for later. Certainly, this administration will be shocked, just shocked that the vast monetary gifts to the wealthiest and to major corporations caused a financial shortfall.
Expect the GOP to go after what they call “entitlements,” but these programs are not entitlements in the current use of the word. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are promises, guarantees that save untold lives and prevent suffering in its many forms. In fact, both Medicare and Medicaid were designed as “insurance.”
Democrats were appalled at the Trump attempt to damage the health care of children, especially since the 2018 spending had just been approved. They said that killing these first, unobligated monies would not reduce the deficit.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer criticized the focus on CHIP, according to The Business Insider:
‘Let’s be honest about what this is: President Trump and Republicans in Congress are looking to tear apart the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), hurting middle-class families and low-income children, to appease the most conservative special interests and feel better about blowing up the deficit to give the wealthiest few and biggest corporations huge tax breaks.’
The Republican Study Committee is the largest conservative House caucus, and it was all for cutting CHIPs. House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman, Tom Cole, (R-OK), said Democrats shouldn’t object:
‘It looks like most of it is stuff … that I don’t know why a Democrat would want to leave money in the CHIP program that we cannot spend, because the authorization’s run out. Again, if it’s things like that, that’s just sort of cleaning up the garden a little bit.’
The House will likely pass the package, but it could hit a Senate roadblock. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who blocked the GOP’s efforts to repeal Obamacare for a while, did not like Trump’s package, according to The Washington Post:
‘I would have to have an awfully good reason given to me, and maybe there is one.’
Fortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did not support Trump’s abominable program, and he has the power to keep it from coming to a vote.
This atrocious attempt by the Trump administration to defund important programs would very likely cause the Democrats to withdraw from any future negotiation table.
The Congress members have 45 days to consider Trump’s draconian request. Fortunately, the measure is not subject to a filibuster in the Senate.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mario Tama.