Us president Donald Trump’s latest budget demands billions of dollars for a border wall at the expense of social safety nets and environmental protections. This was opposed on Monday by Democrates as a pointless vanity project designed to help the president win re-election.
Democrats consider it as “dead on arrival” and “breathtaking in its degree of cruelty”and slammed Mr Trump for trying to cut programmes such as Medicare, the government health insurance scheme for the elderly, which Trump had vowed never to touch, and Medicaid, the equivalent programme for people facing financial trouble.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, said her party would reject the budget which she said included “cruel and short-sighted cuts”.
“House Democrats will reject this toxic, destructive budget request which would hollow out our national strength and fail to meet the needs of the American people,” she said.
Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator running for the Democratic presidential nomination, called the budget “breathtaking in its degree of cruelty”.
“This is a budget for the military industrial complex, for corporate CEOs, for Wall Street and for the billionaire class. It is dead on arrival,” Mr Sanders said. “We don’t need billions of dollars for a wall that no one wants. We need a budget that works for all Americans, not just Donald Trump and his billionaire friends at Mar-a-Lago.”
The US Global Leadership Coalition, a group that promotes diplomacy, criticised the budget for cutting the foreign affairs budget by 24% from the final 2019 level. The group this week released a statement from more than a dozen former US military commanders who urged the Trump administration not to cut the diplomatic budget.
“Diplomacy and development are essential to combating threats before they reach our shores,” said the retired officers, who included William Fallon, James Stavridis, Anthony Zinni and David Petraeus. “We urge policymakers to continue to protect resources for America’s international affairs budget.”