After a brief shutdown last Friday, the Senate passed another Continuing Resolution to keep the government open for a month. This measure came with a $2 trillion price tag and Conservatives were not happy. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only Republican Senator to stand up against the massive spending bill that raised the debt ceiling and increased budget caps.
This week, the President released his budget for this year that provides a framework for Congress to work from. The proposal addresses issues from border security to infrastructure and more. Although it proposes $3 trillion in deficit cuts over ten years, the numbers do not balance in the end.
First and foremost, the President has proposed $18 billion for border wall funding. This would provide for new construction, increase ICE and border patrol agents, and combat the opioid epidemic. However, this will only be effective if better border security measures are passed by Congress. As more illegal immigrants overstay their visas and enter illegally, the amount of money needed to handle this problem will only go up.
The framework allows for a $200 billion infrastructure package that is meant to stimulate $1.5 trillion in investments. Not only will federal taxpayers have a heavy lift in this funding, but states will have to make up the rest by shelling out a tremendous amount of money towards infrastructure development as well.
Ivanka Trump has made government-funded maternity leave a priority which President Trump addressed in his State of the Union speech, as well as in his budget. This proposal allows for both women and men to take six weeks of paid leave by dipping into the Unemployment Insurance system. This is a popular topic that has been buzzing around Congress, so it will certainly be a debated item in this year’s budget. Eagle Forum has always opposed and will continue to oppose any taxpayer-funded babysitting.
Many federal agencies and programs would be on the chopping block. The State Department. Department of the Interior and Environmental Protection Agency would see deep cuts. Programs such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the TIGER grant program that funds infrastructure projects, and the Community Development Block Grant program would be eliminated. A gross amount of tax dollars have blindly funded these programs year after year. Many of these programs have been used to advance a liberal agenda and should not be federally funded.
Major concerns over a bailout of Obamacare and the funding of abortion have been raised. This proposal allocates federal funds to subsidize Obamacare which could go towards plans that cover elective abortions. This is a violation of the Hyde Amendment which prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion. The President’s budget does not include language that reinforces the Hyde Amendment, therefore indirectly giving money to abortion facilities such as Planned Parenthood.
On a positive note, this budget makes great strides to fully fund the military in our national security efforts. Eagle Forum will continue to be an outspoken voice for the best fiscal policies. To read more about the President’s budget proposal, you can find the fact sheets here.