Trump budget would slash billions from HUD, grant programs

Trump's first budget blueprint shortly after he took office envisioned far less red ink.

President Trump's 2020 budget request of an extra $291 million to fight the spread of H.I.V., experts said on Tuesday, will not be remotely sufficient to meet the goal he announced in his State of the Union address: to almost eliminate the AIDS epidemic in the United States within 10 years. His proposal calls for over $7 billion in cuts to the Department of Education, a 10 percent decrease in the department's overall budget from the previous year.

Galdieri said the White House "still does not seem to have internalized the fact that they did so badly in the 2018 midterms and that the Democrats now have a major role in the budget".

"It is obviously a tough sell because of a divided government and a clash over the priorities of our nation", House Budget Committee ranking member Steve Womack (R-Ark.) told The Epoch Times, adding that the Republicans have done their job well in articulating the fiscal condition of the country.

The head of a major hospital association says in a blog that the impact on care for seniors would be "devastating".

"Hospitals are less and less able to cover the cost of care for Medicare patients; it is no time to gut Medicare", said Chip Kahn of the Federation of American Hospitals.

The analysis from the nonprofit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shows most of the Medicare cuts the president proposed "come from policies which would reduce, not increase, premiums and other out-of-pocket costs for seniors, and would do so without reducing the benefit offered by Medicare".

The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan arm of Congress, in January pushed out its projections for the deficit to top $1 trillion until 2022 from an earlier expectation of 2020 amid lower disaster relief spending.

The second is that these Medicare cuts are quite similar to the provider reimbursements backed by the Obama administration, which cut Medicare payments by about $800 billion as part of Obamacare.

"The proposals generally target hospitals and other health care providers", Neuman said. Obama responded to GOP criticism by portraying those payment reductions as necessary to "strengthen and preserve" Medicare.

"It's not like he's been held accountable for things he said on the campaign with his own base", said Kochel, noting that Mexico is not paying for Trump's border wall.

Advocates for Medicare beneficiaries had a measured reaction to the budget. The official, Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, endured more than four hours of bipartisan criticism over the president's budget for 2020, which would substantially reduce projected spending on Medicaid, Medicare and biomedical research.

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.

Vanessa Coleman

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