Quigley Questions OMB Director Mulvaney About Disastrous Trump Budget
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as Ranking Member of the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after questioning Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney about President Trump’s budget proposal. Rep. Quigley’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery are also included below.
“During his time in Congress, Representative Mulvaney led the push for extreme funding cuts to various federal agencies, including OMB. Today, in his new role as OMB Director, he tried—and failed—to rationalize the inconsistency of his new calls for an eight percent increase to OMB funding, all while departments and programs critical to the success of hardworking Americans are being slashed and eliminated. Attempting to cut trillions from anti-poverty programs and Medicaid, while boosting funding for his own agency, is unjustifiable and clearly illustrates misguided priorities and a lack of sound budgetary leadership.”
Rep. Quigley’s opening remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“As the office charged with developing the President’s Budget, you are uniquely positioned to provide us with background and insight on the various priorities of this President.
“Although it is often true that much of a President’s budget is never adopted, these proposals still serve as an important window into the President’s values and set the foundation for policy initiatives for the remaining years of the Administration.
“I usually like to begin these statements with a few positive comments and touch on some areas of agreement, but frankly, this is a tough year to do that because instead of fighting for families and putting the American people first, the President’s Budget is comprised of cruel spending cuts that can destroy job creating programs, weaken our national security efforts, and strip support and resources from the most vulnerable individuals in our society.
“Three-fifths of these cuts, or $2.5 trillion, come on the backs of low- and moderate-income people.
“$1.6 trillion of which comes from slashing Medicaid by nearly 50 percent, throwing millions of struggling Americans off their healthcare, $193 billion from cuts to SNAP, reducing a program that helps feed one out of every four children by more than 25 percent, and hundreds of billions in additional cuts to safety nets like the $72 billion slashed from disability insurance and $22 billion from TANF.
“Also, for someone who on the campaign trail claimed that he would be the ‘greatest jobs president God ever created,’ this budget fails to make the investments necessary to advance our competitiveness and grow our economy.
“At a time when the United States suffers from a D+ infrastructure rating, this budget slashes funding for vital transportation grants like TIGER and Core Capacity and even strips money from the Army Corps of Engineers.
“It would gut support for job training grants and employment services by cutting state grants for career and technical education by $166 million and nearly cut in half the funding for the federal work-study program. In total, funding for jobs training is cut by 40 percent.
“And the budget would hamper life-saving investments in science, medical research, and disease prevention by cutting NIH by $6 billion and the CDC by $1.2 billion. These shortsighted cuts will mean less money to respond to outbreaks like Zika and less funding for new cures and vaccines to some of our most devastating diseases.
“I’d also like to point out that the President’s budget hinders the security of this country by prioritizing a wasteful border wall over agencies and programs we know keep Americans safe. By cutting the State Department by almost 30 percent, we are compromising our ability to conduct diplomacy in a world more complex and than ever.
“The budget also cuts overall development funding in half, slashes international disaster assistance by 43 percent, and completely eliminates the leading U.S. food-aid program.
“I understand that in the past you’ve said that this is a ‘hard power’ budget, not a ‘soft power’ budget, but by approaching foreign policy through a purely militaristic framework, we increase the likely hood of endless war and relinquish our moral leadership on the world stage.
“I can go on and on about all of the ways the President’s Budget betrays the hard working, forgotten men and women of this country, but I also want to briefly talk about how intellectually dishonest this budget is.
“First, the President’s Budget assumes that GDP will grow by an average of about 3 percent over the next decade—1 percentage point higher than the Congressional Budget Office’s forecasts. That leads to deficit projections that are $3 trillion less than if CBO’s GDP estimates are used.
“These excessively optimistic growth projections, while a worthy goal, are highly unrealistic given current demographic trends and the vastly overstated benefits of this administration’s deregulation and tax policies.
“Secondly, the President’s Budget uses the additional revenue collected through increased economic growth to both help pay for tax cuts and to reduce the deficit. Clearly the same money can’t be used twice, which means that this budget would not actually balance by 2027 as it currently forecasts.
“Budget and accounting gimmicks, not withstanding, this budget will roll back progress and opportunity for millions of American families, many of whom voted for this president on the belief that he would stick to his populist campaign platform.
“I look forward to discussing these and other issues with you today.”