Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill has learned…
Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
The proposed cuts hew closely to a blueprint published last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation, a think tank that has helped staff the Trump transition.
Similar proposals have in the past won support from Republicans in the House and Senate, who believe they have an opportunity to truly tackle spending after years of warnings about the rising debt.
Many of the specific cuts were included in the 2017 budget adopted by the conservative Republican Study Committee (RSC), a caucus that represents a majority of House Republicans.
When Trump was running for office, there was a lot of speculation about whether he was a conservative or not. The consensus was “no, but sort-of maybe kind-of.” With no track record, it was hard to tell. But at least on this topic, he seems to be following a strictly conservative line. Actually, the majority of his actions since winning the election have been more conservative than most people thought they would be.
There are theories about this (hey, we’ve got theories about everything). One is that experiences Trump had on the campaign trail have made him more conservative than he was when he started out. I think that’s plausible, and not just due to his encounters with regular voters, but also to his closeness with Pence and other conservatives of a type he hadn’t ordinarily hobnobbed with in his previous life.
I suppose it’s also possible that Trump was holding back his inner conservative till after the election, and that he always has been more conservative than he let on.
At any rate, these proposals may be more conservative than some Republican members of Congress want to see:
Moving Trump’s budget through Congress could be difficult. In 2015, with the GOP in control of the House, the RSC budget failed by a vote of 132 to 294.
Moderate Republicans and Democrats on the Appropriations Committee are likely to push back at some of the cuts being considered by Trump.
But they seem likely to have the support of Mulvaney, a conservative budget hawk who backed the RSC budget.
“Mick Mulvaney and his colleagues at the Republican Study Committee when they crafted budgets over the years, they were serious,” said a former congressional aide. “Mulvaney didn’t take this OMB position to just mind the store.”
More details about where the cuts would occur can be found at the link.