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What to Watch for in Trump’s 2021 Budget

Feb 7, 2020

Washington, D.C.— President Trump will release his budget this upcoming Monday, February 10. Unfortunately, we expect this budget to include the same destructive and irrational cuts the President has floated in previous years. From attacks on health care and vital programs, to undermining investments in our national security and further destabilizing our long-term fiscal health, here’s what to watch for in President Trump’s 2021 budget:

  1. No longer “dead on arrival.” The House Budget Committee is on high alert following the Trump Administration’s brazen attacks on Congress’ power of the purse and flagrant violations of the Impoundment Control Act. If the budget is as destructive and irresponsible as the President’s previous proposals, House Democrats will do everything in our power to stop the cuts and policies from coming to pass. But President Trump and OMB’s willingness to circumvent the legislative branch and force harmful policy changes through litigation, regulation, and administrative action vests this budget with significant importance: Congress and the American people should view this proposal as a roadmap for what this Administration will try to pull off – with or without Congress.
  2. Reneging on the bipartisan budget that is already signed into law. Just six months ago President Trump signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, putting a two-year budget plan in place for 2020 and 2021.  Hopefully the President will honor the discretionary caps that he signed into law, rather than pursuing the destructive cuts to non-defense (NDD) spending and terrible policies seen in his previous budgets.
  3. Destructive and devastating cuts to investments in our national and economic security. In previous budget proposals, President Trump has slashed and even zeroed out critical programs that protect our nation and help Americans meet their basic needs. In his 2020 budget proposal, the President tried to cut NDD by more than $1 trillion over 10 years. He proposed a $220 billion cut to SNAP, $84 billion cut to Social Security and other disability programs, and gutting the EPA by more than 30 percent. The House Budget Committee will be calling attention to any destructive cuts that threaten much-needed investments in education, public health, homeland security, infrastructure, and other top priorities that would leave our country unable to meet the needs of the American people or prepare for the future.
  4. President Trump and Republicans’ ongoing war on our health care. Last year’s budget included another ACA “repeal and replace” attempt and nearly $1.4 trillion in cuts to health programs over 10 years. These proposed cuts included roughly one out of every four dollars from the Medicaid program over 10 years. Last week, the Trump Administration unveiled its illegal Medicaid block grant plan, inviting states to cap and slash Medicaid. This attack on Medicaid was included in the President’s 2020 budget and despite rejection from Congress, the President is now trying to bypass the legislative branch and enact it administratively.  Meanwhile, President Trump and Republicans’ anti-health care lawsuit is making its way through the courts, endangering protections for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions.
  5. Deficit-financed tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. Despite growing evidence that the Republican 2017 tax law was the wrong policy at the wrong time, we expect the President’s 2021 budget proposal to, once again, include an extension of the law and run up our tab with more tax cuts mostly for the wealthy. This is after a CBO report discovered an additional $110 billion in lost revenue over 10 years thanks to this Administration’s implementation of international provisions in the tax law, showering large corporations with even more benefits than we thought.
  6. Failure to address the country’s pressing challenges. While we may see token investments in bipartisan priories like health research or infrastructure, we expect the President’s budget proposal to, once again, largely ignore most of the major challenges facing our country. From climate change, crushing student loan debt, and income inequality, to growing education gaps and skyrocketing health care costs, we must responsibly invest in addressing these problems.

The House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the President’s 2021 Budget with OMB Acting Director Russell Vought on Wednesday, February 12 at 10 a.m.