Budget Chief Defends Spending Cuts, Strong Growth Projections

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal D-Mass. the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee speaks with reporters after addressing an audience during a gathering of business leaders at a meeting of the New England Council Tuesday Nov. 27 2018 in Bos

But his budget would make work requirements mandatory nationwide, said Robin Rudowitz, associate director for the Program on Medicaid and the Uninsured at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

House Democrats said Tuesday they will reject a portion of President Trump's budget that would convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to fixed amounts of money for states, though they do fear the administration will go around them.

Also, as expected, the president intends to cut $220 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as SNAP or, more commonly, as food stamps), $21 billion in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, $207 billion in the student loan program and seeks up to a 31-percent reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency.

He said the president is requesting more spending cuts than any other president in history and he complained that Trump so far has been "blatantly ignored" by Congress. The Trump administration predicts a savings of $130 billion over the next decade if Congress enacts the proposal.

The Springfield Democrat, who chairs the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, condemned the White House for seeking to reduce Medicare spending by $845 billion over 10 years in its budget plan for the fiscal year that begins in October.

The latest 2020 budget proposal from Trump also outlines a substantial funding increase for the FDA - although commentators are already saying that the plan faces nearly certain rejection from Democrats controlling the US House of Representatives. It's common for administrations of both political parties to propose cuts in Medicare payments to hospitals.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi opened a hearing on the Republican president's proposal with a broad attack on what he said was the growing, misguided view that US debt and deficits do not matter. He called the proposal "malicious".

Trump's budget also includes other provisions - such as medical liability reform and drug industry changes - that would indirectly affect Medicare and bring federal savings down to roughly $515 billion, Goldwein said. "How is that going to help the people in this room or most of the people you live with?" "But I do appreciate the president's signaling that he wants to actually balance the budget".

Meanwhile the changes proposed at the FDA in the document entitled 'A Budget for a Better America' tighten up regulations on generics manufacturers in order to improve competition for off-patent drugs and lower prices.

He noted that a high growth rate would be achieved if the administration's policy proposals become law, which are not taken into account in the forecasts of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

"Look at the 1980s, look at the 1990s", he said. Indeed, it would have capped federal spending on the entire program.

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