Alabama delegation reacts to Trump budget that slashes government programs

2018 budget
Copies of the fiscal 2018 budget come off the production run at the Government Publishing Office in Washington, on May 19, 2017. The Trump administration is expected to release the budget on Tuesday. [Photo Credit: European Pressphoto Agency | Jim Lo Scalzo]

President Donald Trump on Tuesday unveiled a highly-anticipated budget for 2018.

The plan, titled “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” endeavors to balance the federal budget within a decade, by dramatically reshaping the status quo of federal spending.

Over the next decade, Trump’s budget would slash $1.5 trillion in non-defense spending and additional $1.4 trillion in Medicaid, all the while adding nearly half a trillion dollars to defense spending.

According to the blueprint released Monday night, Trump’s plan:

  • provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the debt;
  • significantly increases the budget for immigration enforcement at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security;
  • includes additional resources for a wall on the southern border with Mexico, immigration judges, expanded detention capacity, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Border Patrol;
  • increases funding to address violent crime and reduces opioid abuse;
  • and puts America first by keeping more of America’s hard-earned tax dollars here at home.

“One of the things that was new about this budget; that we looked at this budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the bills,” said Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney. “I think for years and years we’ve simply looked at a budget in terms of the folks who are on the back end of the programs, the recipients of the taxpayer money, and we haven’t spent nearly enough time focusing our attention on the people who pay the taxes.”

Here’s what the Alabama delegation has to say about Trump’s budget proposal:

Bradley Byrne Official fraud

Alabama 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne:

Overall, I believe President Trump’s budget is a step in the right direction toward cutting wasteful spending, right-sizing the federal bureaucracy, and rolling back government overreach. At the same time, there are some proposals that Congress must closely examine.

Specifically, I am pleased to see President Trump get serious about reforming our nation’s welfare programs. Many of these programs are the true drivers of our national debt, and they must be reformed.

As we make these reforms, we must also put a real focus on skills training programs to help Americans prepare for and obtain good paying jobs.

Read Byrne’s full statement here.

Martha Roby OfficialAlabama 2nd District U.S. Rep. Martha Roby:

The release of President Trump’s budget blueprint to Congress marks an important step in funding our federal government through the appropriations process. The House Appropriations Committee is wasting no time going about this work and is holding multiple budget hearings with Trump Administration officials this week. In fact, this morning the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee was pleased to welcome Chiefs from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force for a briefing to review funding levels for our men and women in uniform.

When it comes to the federal budget, my priorities are simple: we need to rein in wasteful spending to balance the budget, restore military funding, and ensure critical national needs like border security and veterans services are properly funded. I’m optimistic our unified Republican government can craft sensible spending policies for the nation, and I’m honored to play a role in this process on the Appropriations Committee.

Robert Aderholt OfficialAlabama 4th District U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt:

Certain aspects of the budget have been a long time in coming, as they are simply common sense. I am particularly interested in what my colleagues across the aisle will say against work requirements for able-bodied adults without children who are receiving taxpayer support. I would like to see this go even further in requiring drug testing for certain welfare recipients.

…I applaud the President’s resolution to rein in uncontrolled spending. However, the proposed elimination of USDA’s water and wastewater programs is concerning. I have seen how these programs support hard-working rural Americans in obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water and are often the only source of loans available for small communities.  I look forward to hearing Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s testimony on these and many more subjects this week during his comments before our subcommittee.

Terri Sewell OfficialAlabama 6th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell:

Presidents Trump’s budget takes aim at working families, rural Americans, the disabled, underserved communities, and those who struggle to make their voices heard in our democracy. Leaving those Americans behind is not only a failure in compassion, it is utterly short-sighted when it comes to growing our economy and making America competitive.

In areas like healthcare, education, agriculture, and research, Trump’s budget will have devastating consequences for Alabama. What makes our country great is our willingness to extend a hand up to those who need it most, and that is a value which Trump’s budget cuts.