WASHINGTON, D.C.—Federal lawmakers representing the Stateline Area are divided over President Donald Trump’s 2021 budget proposal made earlier this week.
On Monday, Trump announced a $4.8 trillion budget proposal that includes additional spending for national security the U.S. military, while also including an extension of the individual income tax cut.
The proposal made by the Trump administration cuts deep into affordable housing, student loan forgiveness aid and safety net programs like Medicaid and food stamps.
The proposal also forecasts eliminating the federal deficit by 2035, while including the projection that under Trump, the national debt will increase by $3.4 trillion by 2024.
Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, criticized House Democrats for failing to bring a federal budget proposal to a vote in 2019.
“The President’s budget proposal funds programs important to Southeast Wisconsin,” Steil said. “I urged President Trump to support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which he fully funded in his budget. The proposal also prioritizes our veterans, border security, and state efforts to combat human trafficking. Now, it is up to Congress to produce a budget. After failing to do so last year, House Democrats must bring a budget to a vote. The American people deserve to see where their taxpayer dollars will be spent.”
Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, who is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called the Trump’s budget proposal “heartless” and based on “unabashed cruelty.”
“President Trump’s proposed budget is an insult to working people across the country,” Pocan said. “Working families, students, seniors, people with disabilities, and the poor would all suffer under this budget.”
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare stated in a news release this week that the president’s proposal would cut $478 billion from Medicare and $63 billion from the Social Security Disability Insurance program over the next 10 years. It also would eliminate the block grant program that funds Meals on Wheels.
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ottawa, said that Democrats “have only criticized the President’s plan without providing an alternative or any indications of wanting to work on one.”
“The President has released his budget vision for the year, which he believes will provide a path to long-term fiscal stability,” Kinzinger said. “Now it’s time for House Leadership to release their plan, and get to work on this budget for the good of the American people and our national interests.”
Trump’s budget proposal is largely viewed as a road map, with the Democrat-controlled House and GOP-controlled Senate set to negotiate aspects of the massive proposal that represent administration policy priorities.