President Donald Trump continues to prove relentless in his pursuit of his financial agenda, no matter its feasibility. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed the White House after they unveiled their budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year this week, bluntly painting it as a brazen push to contort the federal government towards the president’s political will without regard for the ramifications for the American people.
She focused on the request that the budget includes for over $8 billion for the construction of the president’s long-sought border wall blocking off Mexico, which Trump has based on the lie of vast criminal networks among undocumented immigrants.
‘The cruel and shortsighted cuts in President Trump’s budget request are a roadmap to a sicker, weaker America. House Democrats will reject this toxic, destructive budget request which would hollow out our national strength and fail to meet the needs of the American people… While demanding billions more for his wasteful, ineffective wall, President Trump will steal from students and hungry families, from rural communities and American farmers, from clean air and clean water, and from vital, job-creating investments nationwide.’
As she indicated, although a number of more specific proposals remain forthcoming, the Trump administration’s budget that is available would deliver a broad array of cuts to key federal agencies if enacted while at the same time boosting some of his pet projects including via a nearly 5 percent increase in military spending, which is more than the Defense Department apparently even asked for.
Under Trump’s plan, while billions poured into the military and the border wall, over $800 billion would get stripped from Medicare over a period of ten years and nearly $1.5 trillion would get slashed from projected spending on Medicaid. The administration wants to see even more dramatic cuts elsewhere in the government, like a whopping 31 percent reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget and an 11 percent drop in funding for the Interior Department, which would claim hundreds of millions of dollars worth of work into developing energy efficiency, among other things. Elsewhere in government, the president’s plan would see a 70 percent cut in renewable energy research and “the elimination of climate science programs across an array of agencies,” The New York Times explains.
All of these proposals — some more than others — set the stage for a White House battle with Congress in coming months. The administration’s current funding proposals match up fairly closely to past years, with one notable exception — the billions of dollars they want for a wall, which for months now Congressional Democrats have made clear they will not be agreeing to, period.
In light of that stalemate, Trump recently signed a national emergency declaration in an attempt to use subsequent executive power to redirect already appropriated government funds towards the wall. Congress is likely to soon vote to cancel that declaration, but their order has to be signed by the president, and he’s indicated he’ll readily veto their measure. That leaves the task of halting the order to numerous court battles, including one unfolding with a broad coalition of state attorneys general led by California’s Xavier Becerra.
In the meantime, Pelosi continues to make her adamant opposition to the Trump team known. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, although she attempted to tamp down the “negativity” in the overall picture of her remarks, she insisted when asked if she thought Trump was fit to be president:
‘No. I don’t think he is. I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity-wise unfit. No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States.’
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