Senator John McCain is known as one of the most moderate Republicans in the Senate. As a moderate, he often has disagreements with staunch conservatives in the party. Which is why it should not be remotely surprising that he recently spoke to the media about the President’s recently released budget and what he had to say the President won’t like.
The budget was an enhanced version of the skinny budget released previously. Programs such as Medicaid and food stamps were cut back. Medicare and Social Security were not touched. However, various programs such as the Affordable Care Act, student loan subsidies, and $95 billion in highway formula were slashed.
The budget also shifts approximately $54 billion from nondefense to defense spending for the next fiscal year. This is about $19 billion more than the former administration. This is the standard form with what the President has maintained he would do. Throughout his campaign, as well as time in office, he has consistently advocated for an increased defense presence which requires an increased budget.
On Tuesday Sen. McCain, of Arizona, said that the released budget would be dead on arrival. In a press releases statement, Senator McCain said,
“President Trump’s $603 billion defense budget request is inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress. It fails to provide the necessary resources to restore military readiness, rebuild military capacity, and renew our military advantage with investments in modern capabilities.”
When MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt asked him why he felt that way he said,
“Yes. and the commitment to rebuilding the military cannot be fulfilled with this level of spending. It is $30 billion too short.”
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters the following about the latest budget during his May 22nd briefing on it,
“We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs. We’re going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs to get back in charge of their own lives. We’re not going to measure our success by how much money we spend but by how many people we actually help.”
All the items inside the new budget should not be at all shocking. They are exactly what the President had promised and they are very typical Republican policy objectives, such as cutting back on entitlement benefits. Despite the Democratic pushback from liberals who say Trump has not upheld his promises and that his budget cuts will hurt his own voters the most.
At the end of the day, the Executive branch does not set the budget. Every year the President creates a budget blueprint which is really just a request. The House of Representatives just takes the President’s desires into consideration and makes the ultimate decision through the appropriations process.
Ultimately it will be voted on in the House of Representatives. For Senator McCain to speak publicaly about the budget being dead on arrival is foolish. Because it isn’t a piece of legislation so in effect his comments were pointless. Other than to take a dig at the President.