Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought told reporters at the White House on Monday that President Donald Trump’s budget for fiscal year 2021 will not cut funding to “Social Security and Medicare for seniors.”
Earlier in the day, Trump told governors at the White House he would not “touch Medicare” or Social Security, despite Sunday reports claiming the opposite.
Vought conceded that OMB proposes “good government reforms” that will “lower drug prices, root out improper payments, and address wasteful and inefficient spending,” but claimed that “reducing the cost of healthcare is not a cut.” He would go on to add that, under the proposal, Medicare would grow at a rate of 6% yearly, and Medicaid would grow at a rate of 3% yearly.
Additionally, Vought claimed that the budget proposal would balance the budget by 2035, a consistent promise made by Trump on the 2016 campaign trail, and would result in a national surplus by 2035.
When asked if the budget sought to “defund Planned Parenthood,” he added that there are “provisions” in the proposal that “do not allow taxpayer resources to clinics that perform abortion.”
Vought claimed that the proposal is not a “green eyeshade” budget and focuses on funding areas the president is prioritizing, including modernization of the nuclear weapons program, NASA, and fighting the opioid crisis.
For the first time ever, the budget will feature an entire chapter devoted to curbing wasteful government spending, including reducing funding to several agencies and outright cutting programs including: (EXCLUSIVE: New Trump Budget Includes First Ever Chapter Defining Government Waste, Targets Programs To Eliminate Entirely)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Education and Research Centers
- Department of the Interior’s Highlands Conservation Act Grants
- National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures Grants
- National Endowment for the Arts Endowment for the Humanities
- Corporation for National and Community Service (including AmeriCorps)
Additionally, the budget cuts funding to the Environmental Protection Agency by 26%, foreign aid by 21%, and the Department of Commerce by 37%, though the majority of that could be attributed to the completion of the 2020 census.
A Sunday report from the Wall Street Journal noted the proposal features a reduced request for border wall construction, but the White House told the Daily Caller they have transitioned from “securing funds to being able to build more wall.”
A senior White House official claimed the administration has secured funds to erect 1,000 miles of new wall, more than half the length of the southern border, and maintained optimism they would hit Customs and Border Patrol’s goal of finishing 450 miles of construction by the end of 2020.