On Tuesday, May 23, President Donald Trump released his budget plan, titled “A Foundation for American Greatness,” that would cut the safety net for many social programs, but would also allocate $1.6 billion for Trump’s border wall on the Mexican-U.S. border.
Trump’s budget plan would cut welfare programs by $274 billion over the next decade. Programs that would be affected by this includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, and social security, as well as around $50 billion in savings within social security.
Medicaid would see one of the largest cuts as, over the next decade, it would slash more than the $800 billion that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would after it was passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday, May 4. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) criticized this as being contrary to what Trump promised during his campaign.
The budget also proposes nationwide paid parental leave that would allow both new mothers and fathers, as well as adoptive parents, to take up to six weeks of paid leave. This would cost an estimated $25 billion over the next decade. It is expected that Republicans will oppose this section of the budget as there has been consistent opposition when paid family leave was proposed in the past, according to the Guardian.
Some advocates for paid family leave have also expressed discontent with Trump’s proposal. The President of the National Partnership for Women and Families Debra Ness called the proposal “phoney.” She states that six weeks is not enough time for leave when the national standard is 12 weeks.
Planned Parenthood would also be defunded with this budget plan. This defunding comes due to an assumption that the AHCA will pass the Senate and become law.
Additional changes include an increase in defense spending while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will see a decrease in their budget by 31.4 percent. The State Department and other international programs will also see a decrease in their budget by 29.1 percent.
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney stated that Trump’s budget plan will increase economic growth in the U.S. by three percent over the next 10 years. Economic experts, however, are skeptical of this claim as the annual growth has been, on average, 1.75 percent over the last 45 years.
Fourth-year political science, law and society major at UCR Arturo Gomez stated, “Such cuts would be absolutely devastating to tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Americans who rely on government assistance for survival.”
Both liberals and moderate conservatives in Congress are expected to oppose this budget plan due to fear of the social ramifications as well as the possibility that the plan will increase the U.S. deficit.