Trump budget elicits cheers and jeers from Colorado political leaders, based on party, of course

Author: Joey Bunch - May 24, 2017 - Updated: July 31, 2017

President Trump delivered his first budget proposal Tuesday, cheered by conservatives such as U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Spring and jeered by such liberals as Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder.

The plan would deal $3.6 trillion in cuts to such programs as food stamps, Medicaid, transportation funding, crop insurance and medical research.

“Many of the voters who propelled Trump into the presidency last November would see significantly less from the federal government,” according to an Associated Press’ appraisal.

Trump’s budget is far from a done deal, so say even members of his own party.

“Basically dead on arrival,” is how  the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, described it.

Even immigration hardliners, Trump’s usual supporters, didn’t like it.

“We can only assume that President Trump has struck a secret deal with Mexico to get them to pay for the border fence he promised, because funding for the project sure isn’t in the budget proposal he sent to Congress,” Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, said in a statement. “After yielding to Democratic obstructionists on funding for the fence in order to ensure passage of the omnibus spending bill earlier this month, the president implied that he would fight to ensure that adequate funding was included in the FY 2018 budget. Nothing in this budget proposal suggests that he is fighting very hard.”

Here’s what Colorado political leaders had to say Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Denver:

“The president’s budget is completely out of step with Colorado’s priorities. Over the past several months, I’ve not heard a single Coloradan ask for cuts to health care, education or clean energy.

“The president’s budget cuts $9 billion in education funding, leaving students and teachers with fewer resources for a great education. It slashes funding for innovative technologies and infrastructure in clean energy—a sector that is creating jobs across Colorado. It also reduces support for state programs that keep our air clean and the heat running in Colorado homes. And although the president has promised he would not cut Medicaid, his proposal does exactly that, abandoning our most vulnerable communities, especially those with children and individuals with disabilities.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper:

“President Trump’s budget proposal is devastating. We have worked hard to create an environment that supports what is now the top economy in the country and makes Colorado a great place to live. The impact of cuts to Medicaid, Social Security and other programs – for the purpose of funding massive tax breaks for the wealthy – is out of step with Colorado’s values. It threatens our hard-earned progress, pushes costs back to the state, and transfers additional burden to those who can least afford it. It really is Robin Hood in reverse – stealing from the poor (and the middle class) to give to the rich.”

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs:

“President Trump’s New Foundation For American Greatness budget proposal includes many positive developments that I am eager to support. Most importantly, the proposal makes a significant down payment on rebuilding America’s military strength. While this proposal only gets us halfway to where we need to be, it is a step in the right direction. I am also pleased to see $2.6 billion allocated for border security construction, improvements, technology, and manpower. Also, this budget proposal balances in 10 years and protects Social Security and Medicare. While it is true that there will be spending reductions tied to significant welfare reform, these changes will come with economic growth that will replace dependence on government assistance with the dignity that comes from work. By making these reforms, welfare benefits will be more effectively targeted toward those Americans the programs are intended to serve.

“It’s important to note that this is the beginning of a process. The president proposes spending levels, but the Congress uses its power of the purse to weigh-in with its priorities as well. I would anticipate many changes to come. However, I appreciate the President setting a fiscally responsible benchmark, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to make the tough decisions necessary for the safety and fiscal stability of the American people.”

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez:

“As the House develops the budget resolution that will guide the FY18 appropriations process, I welcome the president’s input on federal spending priorities. Our country is at a critical junction, and the federal government cannot continue to spend money it doesn’t have. As terrorist groups continue to perpetrate evil acts and spread fear around the world, we must prioritize funding for national defense and diplomacy. It is also critical that we focus federal resources on programs that deliver results for Americans and create jobs, and we must ensure our social safety nets are sustainable for those who truly need them. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the budget and appropriations committees to ensure the priorities of the Third Congressional District are reflected in our budget blueprint and upcoming appropriations bills.”

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver:

“The President’s heartless budget proposal amply shows his lack of concern for Americans’ health, financial struggles and hopes for a better life for their kids. It punishes the most vulnerable while propping up the wealthy and making preposterous assumptions about the country’s economic growth. And it guts funding for diplomacy and development at a time when we should be investing more in our country’s leadership in an unstable world – a short-sighted approach that will leave us weaker.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.