May 9 (UPI) — President Donald Trump proposed $15 billion in federal spending cuts Tuesday in an effort to address the national debt.
“Washington has a spending problem,” Russ Vought, deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a White House release. “The national debt is now more than $21 trillion and the deficit could reach $1 trillion next year.”
Though other presidents have rescinded funds, Trump’s proposed spending cuts would be the largest in nearly two decades.
The Trump White House called the affected funds — mostly coming from the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides low-cost health coverage to families in need with enrollment of roughly 9 million people — “no longer necessary.”
The $7 billion spending cut to CHIP was proposed because those funds “are no longer necessary or can’t be spent because the authority to do so expired last year,” the release said.
According to the White House, the spending cut “will have no impact on the program.”
Another proposed spending cut is a $4.3 billion reduction to the Energy Department’s loan program for Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing because White House officials said it has been idle for years.
Trump also proposed millions of dollars in cuts to the Agriculture Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Federal Transit Administration, citing similar reasons.
The spending cuts are less than half of 1 percent of federal expenditures this year, according to a USA Today article.
Rep. Frank Pallone told USA Today the spending cuts on the domestic side of the budget didn’t live up to the administration’s pledge for parity between domestic and military spending.
“I mean, we’re going to build more bombs, but now we’re going to cut health care for kids,” said Pallone, D-N.J. “That says a lot about Republican values.”