Democratic senators slam Trump budget

Democrats on Capitol Hill slammed President Donald Trump’s budget proposal and infrastructure plan, arguing Monday it doesn’t address the needs of the American people.

While it wasn’t a total surprise, many senators said Monday afternoon they want to focus on funding the government through March before worrying about the new fiscal year.

Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, told CNN the budget was “dead on arrival.”

“The President is asking for major cuts in things like Medicaid and Medicare,” she said. “I think we are going to make sure the (funding) we all agreed on in the last budget agreement are going to be the ones we work on.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, called the budget and infrastructure plan “divorced from reality.”

“A budget is where we lay out our priorities as a nation,” he said in a statement. “The priorities identified in this budget are not the priorities of the American people.”

The White House’s budget proposal presses for new spending on infrastructure and a border wall. The outline is always a political exercise by presidents that stands little chance of being adopted by Congress — and especially this year, since lawmakers approved a two-year spending plan last week.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, argued Trump’s budget outline cuts funding in domestic programs that Americans need.

“The President’s budget proposal puts the burdens of deficit reduction on all the wrong places by slashing funding for Medicaid, college loans, and food assistance for needy families, and bringing overall non-defense investments down to levels not seen in modern times,” he said in a statement. “Even using economic assumptions rejected by leading economists, this budget would still leave America deeply in the red.”

According to a blueprint released Sunday evening, the budget includes $200 billion meant to spur more than $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure spending, $23 billion for border security, and $17 billion to combat the opioid epidemic.

The GOP chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Thad Cochran, said in a statement that he also plans to focus on spending for this year before committing to spending for next year.