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Cuts to Medicaid, social safety net expected in Trump budget

May 22, 2017 at 6:35 PM EDT
The Trump administration will release its first full budget plan Monday, laying out the president’s priorities for spending and taxes. Early reporting suggests Mr. Trump's proposal will feature some big changes and substantial cuts. Congress has the final say, but what would he put on the chopping block? Lisa Desjardins joins Judy Woodruff for a preview.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Let’s move to the president’s domestic agenda now.

Later tonight, his administration will release his first full budget plan, which lays out his priorities for spending and taxes. Congress will have the final say, but this lays down an important marker for the coming year.

Early reporting suggests Mr. Trump’s proposal will feature some big changes, including substantial spending cuts and a shift in priorities overall.

Lisa Desjardins has been reporting for us, and she is here now to give us a preview.

So, Lisa, what’s different about this budget and what is different about the way they’re approaching it?

LISA DESJARDINS: This is a very dramatic proposal the president is making to Congress.

He would significantly increase military spending and significantly decrease most spending in other domestic agencies. Now, as part of this, he is trying to change the way people look at budgeting.

Sources, congressional sources are giving me all this information. They say he’s trying to say, don’t just look who is the recipient of a program. Look at those who are funding it, taxpayers, and ask, do taxpayers think this is worth it? That’s a sign of cuts to come.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And we’re hearing big changes to Medicaid, health care for the poor. What do we know about that?

LISA DESJARDINS: These congressional sources say the president will propose additional cuts to Medicaid on top of what is already in the House Republican bill.

We have talked about that extensively. There’s a lot of shifts in that bill, but essentially it would likely mean, according to the Congressional Budget Office, millions fewer Americans on Medicaid. The president plan would have additional decreases to that.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, Lisa, we’re hearing about several other changes to the so-called social safety net.

LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.

JUDY WOODRUFF: What are you hearing about that and why?

LISA DESJARDINS: A couple of big programs to watch, the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Again, congressional sources say the president feels that there should be more responsibility, accountability in these programs, and he’s going to require that everyone in that program have a Social Security number. Who does that affect? Undocumented immigrants. It could also affect their children, some critics point out.

One other program, Judy, SNAP, lots of times referred to as food stamps. The president is going to propose that states share more in that cost. That would be a big difference. And one key to all of this, it’s a dramatic proposal, but Congress ends up deciding all of these funding debates.

And when I talk to some Republicans in Congress on Friday, they were ready for this dramatic proposal. And they said a lot of these cuts will not pass there.

JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, Lisa Desjardins, again, this comes out tonight. We will be able to talk much more about it tomorrow. Thank you so much.

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