Budget chief say debt ceiling may need to be raised soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s budget (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

A fellow Republican is lacing into President Donald Trump’s budget, saying his promises to balance it are based on fanciful economic projections.

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford told White House budget director Mick Mulvaney that Trump’s budget “presumes a Goldilocks economy” that never goes into recession.

Sanford told Mulvaney that the budget “assumes that the stars perfectly align” by promising an economic growth rate of 3 percent but that such an economic surge wouldn’t increase inflation and bond yields.

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1 p.m.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is defending the Trump administration’s proposal to slash funding for key K-12 and higher education programs while promoting school choice.

DeVos is getting some pointed questions from Democrats on a House committee about using public money to help students pay for private school tuition.

Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts asked whether a private school should be allowed to receive public money if it rejects LGBT students, DeVos says that decision is best left for states to make. Clark replied, “I am shocked.”

DeVos also says states, not the federal government, should make decisions about special education and academic and other standards for private schools that use vouchers.

DeVos says school choice gives parents and children education opportunities regardless of their income, zip code and race.

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11:45 a.m.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is defending the Trump administration’s proposal to cut $191 billion from food stamps over the next 10 years.

At a House hearing Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro told Perdue that the budget turns the nation’s back on the hungry. She said that’s “cruel,” ”heartless” and “inhumane.”

Perdue said the budget would fully pay for food stamp benefits in the coming year, but suggests policy changes to Congress. Trump’s proposal would shift some cost to states, target benefits to the poorest people, increase work requirements and limit some eligibility.

Perdue says the best way to help poverty and hunger is “to turn the economy around, and job dignity.”

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10:18 a.m.

Donald Trump’s budget chief is defending the president’s plans to cut social programs as a means to increase economic growth to 3 percent and put “taxpayers first.”

Budget director Mick Mulvaney told the House Budget Committee on Wednesday that he went “line by line” through the federal budget and asked “Can we justify this to the folks who are actually paying for it?”

But Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington told Mulvaney that cuts to food stamps, payments to the disabled, and other programs are “astonishing and frankly immoral.”

Mulvaney also told the panel it will take cuts to Social Security and Medicare to balance the budget in the future. Trump left those big retirement programs alone in this year’s effort.

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2:55 a.m.

Top officials in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet are heading to Capitol Hill to defend his plans to cut domestic programs and parry Democratic criticism of his tax plans.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney appears Wednesday before the House Budget panel while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will testify at the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Trump on Tuesday released a 10-year budget plan containing jarring, politically unrealistic cuts to the social safety net and a broad swath of domestic programs.

The plan, Trump’s first as president, combines $4.1 trillion for the upcoming 2018 fiscal year with a promise to bring the budget back into balance in 10 years, relying on aggressive spending cuts, a surge in economic growth — and a $2 trillion-plus accounting gimmick.

This post originally appeared on Townhall

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