House GOP Lawmakers Say Trump’s Budget Is Step In Right Direction

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Republicans praised President Donald Trump Tuesday for putting forth a fiscal year 2018 budget proposal that would balance within 10 years, saying they should be able to accomplish many of his goals during the appropriations process.

Trump’s budget includes deep cuts to a number of agencies and entitlement programs — slashing $3.6 trillion in spending over the course of a decade. A number of GOP lawmakers noted there are certain areas of Trump’s budget —  including cuts to funding for Meals on Wheels and the State Department — that would likely receive pushback from both sides of the aisle, but feel the majority of the plan demonstrates the president is taking his promise to reduce the deficit seriously.

“I think it’s an aggressive budget that looks like it’s going in the right direction of where we need to go — look we have a $20 trillion debt — we can’t stop spending like drunken sailors,” Georgia Rep. Barry Loudermilk told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said it’s refreshing to work with an administration that shares common goals, adding he believes Trump is putting forth policies that will help accomplish Republicans goal of growing the economy by 3 percent.

“Clearly, Congress will take that budget and then work on our own budget, which is the case every single year — but at least we have common objectives: grow the economy balance the budget, so we are now on that common ground and will have a great debate about the details on how to achieve those goals,” he told reporters Tuesday morning.

California Rep. Doug LaMalfa said he hopes Republicans will be able to put an end to increasing the debt ceiling through spending cuts.

“The idea that it actually balances — that’s something we haven’t seen a lot around here, so I’m excited about that,” he told TheDCNF. “Now is it going be easy to balance? No. But it’s progress in the direction that we need to be talking about.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy applauded Trump for his decision to increase military spending in his plan.

“While I continue to review the details, it’s obvious that the White House sticks to what is right by prioritizing defense and balancing the budget in ten years,” he said in a statement. “This budget also focuses on the President’s priorities to shrink the size and scope of the federal government—and that’s good. For too long we have judged federal programs by how much we spend on them rather than on their outcomes.”

While the plan received praise from a large number of House Republicans, some members of Congress felt it didn’t provide enough military funding.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, said it falls short of what’s needed to fight growing threats of terror.

“President Trump’s $603 billion defense budget request is inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress,” he said in a statement. “This funding level represents a mere 3 percent increase over President Obama’s budget projection for the coming fiscal year.”

Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry echoed McCain’s concerns, telling reporters he believes they need $640 billion if they want to ensure the military is properly funded.

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