GOP chairman says he won’t hold hearing on Trump’s budget: ‘It turns into a diatribe’
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said he will not hold a hearing on President Trump’s proposed fiscal 2021 budget because it would only spark “animosity” between Democrats and administration officials.
Trump unveiled his $4.8 trillion budget proposal on Monday. The hefty document, which was immediately panned by Democrats, breaks with an existing two-year budget deal and outlines the president’s priorities heading into the November election.
He noted that he didn’t hold a hearing on a final budget proposal from then-President Obama and would not hold a hearing on Trump’s proposed budget for similar reasons.
“Because it turns into a diatribe against the president, I did not hold a hearing on President Obama’s last budget. And for that same reason, I’m not going to hold a hearing on this president’s budget,” Enzi said.
“Congress doesn’t pay any attention to the president’s budget exercise. It’s all it is — an exercise. Congress holds the purse strings, according to the Constitution, and Congress is very protective of that constitutional authority,” Enzi continued.
While Enzi, who is retiring, isn’t holding a hearing, a slew of top administration officials are expected to head to Capitol Hill this week to defend Trump’s proposal.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will appear before the Senate Finance Committee on back-to-back days to discuss the budget.
Meanwhile, Russell Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), will appear before the House Budget Committee on Wednesday. Phillip Swagel, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, will testify before the House Appropriations Committee.
Enzi pointed to the House hearings as a place where individuals could go if they wanted to get a “dose of animosity.”
“If you want the animosity of a budget hearing, the House of Representatives will have the office of management and budget, OMB, for a hearing this Wednesday. You can take that in and get your dose of animosity if you want,” he added.