Top Senate Dem: Trump budget blueprint 'dead on arrival and divorced from reality'

Top Senate Dem: Trump budget blueprint 'dead on arrival and divorced from reality'
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCongress hunts for path out of spending stalemate This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Senators press NSA official over shuttered phone surveillance program MORE (D-Vt.), the vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Monday slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump opens new line of impeachment attack for Democrats Bloomberg to spend 0M on anti-Trump ads in battleground states New witness claims first-hand account of Trump's push for Ukraine probes MORE's 2020 budget proposal, calling it "dead on arrival and divorced from reality."

Leahy added in a statement that the proposal "is not worth the paper it is printed on" and predicted it will be rejected by Congress. He called it based on a "gimmick" said it was "not a serious proposal."

ADVERTISEMENT

"Yet again, the President has proposed shortsighted cuts that would slash investments in infrastructure, medical research, and American families, cuts that have been rejected by Congress two fiscal years in a row," Leahy said.

He said that that Trump is relying "on a budget gimmick" with Overseas Contingency Operations funding to increase funding for the Department of Defense.

Trump's proposed budget would increase defense spending to $750 billion and allocate $8.6 billion to fund his proposed wall along the southern border.

The proposal is likely to face opposition in Congress, where Democrats have control of the House.

Leahy called the budget "not a serious proposal" and suggested that Trump "work with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to reach a bipartisan budget agreement so we can begin the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process."

"Without an agreement, the law requires that we cut $71 billion (minus 11 percent) from defense programs and $54 billion from non-defense programs (minus 9 percent). The clock is already ticking, and we cannot and should not waste our time on partisan proposals and failed policies," Leahy added.

Other Senate Democrats on Monday also slammed the budget proposal. Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Senate Democrat: Colleague was working on fantasy football trade instead of listening to Schumer MORE (D-Conn.), who is also on the Appropriations Committee, joined Leahy in calling it "dead on arrival."

"Budgets reflect priorities, and President Trump’s priority is clearly catering to his base ahead of his re-election campaign. He includes massive cuts to programs Connecticut families rely on to pay for his tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, and a ridiculous amount of money for his border wall that no one wants,” Murphy added in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that the proposal is a "gut-punch" to America's middle class.

"The Trump administration’s latest budget proposal is a gut-punch to the American middle class and a handout to the wealthiest few and powerful special interests that would worsen income inequality," Schumer said.