Kentucky Republican congressman Hal Rogers, who has spent more than three decades on the House Appropriations Committee, including six years as the chairman, rejected President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget as Congress begins consideration of the president’s rearrangement of priorities. “While we have a responsibility to reduce our federal deficit, I am disappointed that many of the reductions and eliminations proposed in the President’s skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive,” said Rogers, one of the so-called “cardinals,” the nickname for the lawmakers controlling how federal money is spent. Rogers said he was concerned about cuts to programs in Kentucky. “In particular, the Appalachian Regional Commission has a long-standing history of bipartisan support in Congress because of its proven ability to help reduce poverty rates and extend basic necessities to communities across the Appalachian region,” he said. “Today, nearly everyone in the region has access to clean water and sewer, the workforce is diversifying, educational opportunities are improving, and rural technology is finally advancing to 21st Century standards. “We will certainly review this budget proposal, but Congress ultimately has the power of the purse. As the full budget picture emerges in the coming weeks, I am optimistic that we can work with the Administration to responsibly fund the federal government, including those agencies which serve as vital economic lifelines in rural parts of the country that are still working to overcome substantial challenges. Another top House Republican and the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Mike Conaway, took shots at the president’s cuts to the agriculture programs. “At first blush, I am pleased that the administration is working to restore the strength of our nation’s armed forces to make sure that our men and women in uniform have the equipment that they need to defend our country and our interests around the world,” said Conaway, a Texas Republican who also sits on both the Intelligence and Armed Services Committee. “On the USDA budget, I am concerned that the cuts, while relatively small in the context of the total federal budget, could hamper some vital work of the department,” he said. “I think it is very important to remember that net farm income is down 50 percent from where it stood just four years ago. America’s farmers and ranchers are struggling, and we need to be extremely careful not to exacerbate these conditions. In fact, we need to do all we can to be there to help our farmers and ranchers. The work they do is critical. “I think it is very important to remember that net farm income is down 50 percent from where it stood just four years ago. America’s farmers and ranchers are struggling, and we need to be extremely careful not to exacerbate these conditions. In fact, we need to do all we can to be there to help our farmers and ranchers.” Another Republican taking on the president’s budget cuts is Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio). “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been a critical tool in our efforts to help protect and restore Lake Erie, and when the Obama administration proposed cuts to the program, I helped lead the effort to restore full funding,” he said. “I have long championed this program, and I’m committed to continuing to do everything I can to protect and preserve Lake Erie, including preserving this critical program and its funding.” When he announced the president’s budget, Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, explained that his budget request was based on Trump’s own speeches and campaign promises. “Knowing what you know about the President, you could imagine what that budget would look like before you even see it..”
Indeed! It’s disappointing to see SO many Republicans like these otherwise quality legislators giving in to their inner-liberal, knee-jerk need to give their respective districts the pork they’ve been so used to giving them…in order to buy their votes. The size and scope of the federal government has progressively grown for decades. And, now, we actually have a President who wants to trim the fraud, abuse, and waste of federal taxpayer dollars from the federal budget, just as he promised he would. As Mr. Mulvaney rightly suggests, this should be NO surprise to anyone. This is just Trump keeping another one of his promises; in this case, to “drain the swamp.” To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.