Trump's first budget proposal will "have a hard time getting much traction" in Congress, Yarmuth says

03/17/2017 03:26 PM

Congressman John Yarmuth, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, says he sees a difficult path ahead for President Donald Trump’s “ignorant” budget proposal unveiled Thursday.

Yarmuth, D-Louisville, spoke at a news conference Friday morning with other House Democrats to share their misgivings about cuts in Trump’s proposed spending plan. He said the draft budget shows “an incredible lack of knowledge about the way people live and about the value and success of many of the investments and programs that this budget would cut.”

The congressman singled out cuts to the National Institutes of Health, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, community development block grants that fund initiatives like Meals on Wheels and the Internal Revenue Service.

“For Mick Mulvaney (Trump’s budget director) to stand up and say, basically imply that there’s no evidence of success or of accomplishment with some of these programs is astounding to me,” Yarmuth said. “I don’t know what evidence he needs — whether he has to have people not die is not evidence, and that’s what we’re seeing in programs like that.”

Yarmuth is part of a chorus of Democrats and Republicans concerned with cuts made in Trump’s first budget proposal as president, which beefs up military and defense spending.

For instance, Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, called the administration’s spending plan “draconian, careless and counterproductive” in a statement after it eliminated funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state effort launched in 1965 aimed at economic growth in Appalachia. The former House budget committee chairman said he’s “optimistic” a compromise can be reached to keep funding the commission.

Yarmuth says Trump’s budget proposal will face plenty of scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

“I know this budget is going to have a hard time getting much traction,” he said. “It seems to have kind of gratuitously made more enemies than it’s possible to make, but as we in the budget committee are characterizing it, this budget called ‘America First’ actually puts American families last, and I think that’s what we can say about the Trump agenda.”

Yarmuth’s comments can be viewed at C-SPAN here.

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