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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attempted to defend President Trump’s $4.1 trillion budget, whose nearly $30 billion in cuts he attributed to “hard choices.” Ranking Democrat Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) wasn’t buying it.

“Mr. Secretary, I’ve often said that a budget proposal is a statement of values and priorities,” Lewis began. “This administration’s proposal makes crystal-clear that the hungry, the middle class, the elderly and the struggling will be left out and left behind.”

Trump’s $1 trillion-plus cut to social programs would hurt many of his own voters the most, despite an increase in military and border security funds.

“This budget says, more money for war, for guns, for weapons,” Lewis noted. “It razed Medicaid and Social Security; it cut funding for food assistance.”

Of all departments, Education, Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development are set to get hit the hardest ($9.2 billion, $4.834 billion and $6.2 billion cut, respectively).

“We have a right to know what is in the food we eat, what is in the water we drink and what is in the air we breathe,” hammered the Georgia congressman. “This budget cuts the EPA,” in addition to breaking “promise after promise to the American people.”

“I have a strange feeling,” he added, “this budget is not respecting the American people. I think we can do much better.”

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Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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