Trump budget chief defends plan in face of opposition

The presidential budget now out cuts some of America's most important programs for disadvantaged families.

On Capitol Hill, Trump's budget won polite praise from some Republicans, but Democrats were dismissive. Trump's budget summary says the program is fully paid for, but includes only $19 billion over the next decade.

The White House has denied the president's budget proposal contains an "egregious" maths error.

-The Poor: Trump's budget would slash Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program by $616 billion over the next decade.

But, women, in particular, would suffer a great deal if this budget passes.

Mnuchin had previously advised that the deadline to for Congress to act - and avert a first-ever default on USA obligations - was sometime in the fall. Trump's own base of political support also could be undermined. Republican leaders insisted on food stamp cuts in the 2014 farm bill, and the House passed legislation that would have strengthened work requirements and cut 5 percent.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is defending the Trump administration's proposal to cut $191 billion from food stamps over the next 10 years.

"I think it will be challenging for states to try to figure out what to do", said Trish Riley, executive director of the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy, which advises states.

"What's incumbent upon us it to have a real debate about real numbers, and then we can have a food fight", he told reporters.

Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the Association of Arizona Food Banks, said in a statement Tuesday that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - food stamps - serves 1 million Arizonans, "half of whom are children and many who are seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities".

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Atop Rogers' list of worries is Trump's proposed elimination of the $146 million Appalachian Regional Commission that has helped bring projects such as job training to unemployed coal miners, a broadband technology center to Kentucky and high-tech medical equipment to impoverished regions.

For much of the program's history, the number of people who actually participated in the federal food assistance program was far less than the number who struggled with poverty and the number who potentially qualified for assistance.

Fox News contributors and hosts defended President Donald Trump's draconian budget request for fiscal year 2018 by coalescing around a talking point also voiced by the White House that spending cuts for nutrition assistance programs are justified due to their gut feeling that too many people are using them.

Democrats criticized a proposal for an nearly 30 percent cut in food stamps. Numerous voters who propelled Trump into the presidency last November would see significantly less from the federal government.

Liberal California would be hit hardest, with a 9.8 percent drop.

This is because women make up the majority of Medicaid's beneficiaries (53 percent).

"Most of the (budget) cuts will focus on programs for low- income folks and public investments", said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which pushes for long-term fixes to Washington's debt problems. As Alice Rivlin, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget under Clinton, told the Times, "This has been a very long period of growth and we're at the high end already".

Democratic lawmakers have savaged the budget, and even fiscally hawkish Republicans seem taken aback by the magnitude of the cuts. Sen. Lindsey Graham called the plan "terrible" because of cuts to the State Department.

"It sends all of the right signals for the first time in almost a decade - a budget that actually is focused on the best interests of the American taxpayer rather than what's popular in Washington", he said.

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