President Trump Expected to Propose Billions in Cuts from Anti-Poverty Basic Assistance Programs

May 16, 2017
by Ashley Burnside, Emerson Hunger Fellow via the Congressional Hunger Center

Along with working on the American Health Care Act, Congress has been busy strategizing for the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY2018) budget and tax reform legislation. President Trump is expected to release his full FY2018 budget on May 23. In March, President Trump released a blueprint of his budget, which included devastating cuts to non-defense discretionary programs.

According to CQ Rollcall, President Trump is calling for large cuts in his full budget, including $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), and other entitlement programs . His goal is to balance the federal budget within ten years. To be clear, these cuts to Medicaid would be in addition to the devastating cuts already in the American Health Care Act recently passed by the House.

Meanwhile, the House is expected to start their markup for the FY2018 budget in mid-June, with a floor vote roughly a week later. The Senate is expected to take much longer to pass the budget resolution in part because they must finish work on their own health care bill first.

Along with the budget, lawmakers are also focusing on taxes. Senator Democrats recently sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mike Mulvaney with their concerns over tax breaks for the wealthy and the threats tax cuts pose to programs such as Medicaid and Social Security. In the letter, the Democrats also made it very clear that they will not support any legislation which is not revenue-neutral.

This Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee will have their first hearing on tax reform. Since the Senate will be busy with health care for the time being, Representatives know they have all summer to refine their tax reform legislation. RESULTS will continue to track any updates on the FY2018 budget and tax reform legislation and let you know when and what actions to take.

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