Virginia lawmakers have mixed reactions to the sweeping federal budget proposal President Trump released this week.
There’s a secret about presidential budgets: whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge, lawmakers of all stripes hate them and Congress usually rejects them. But they’re important documents nonetheless because they embody the philosophy of the President.
Virginia Republican Scott Taylor says he’s glad the president wants to ramp up defense spending, which would go a long way in his south eastern district. “It's much needed" Taylor said. "I think, long term-wise, you can actually reduce or get military spending on a different trajectory in terms of different bases, legacy programs, all that stuff. However, now there's a much needed infusion of cash for maintenance for readiness for training. The President recognizes that.”
The odd thing about this year’s annual budget tango between the White House and Congress is that earlier in the month lawmakers reached an agreement for a sweeping two year budget deal that added an extra $360 billion to what the nation was supposed to spend.
That’s why Virginia Democrat Bobby Scott says the president’s budget isn’t serious. "Well, the President's budget does not incorporate the budget changes that were made 10 days ago and so, it's largely irrelevant," Scott said. "It's not a framework for our budget deliberations going forward."
It’s not just Democrats complaining. Trump’s budget adds an extra $7 trillion to the deficit over a decade, which is in line with the new spending deal reached in Congress. Virginia Republican Tom Garrett isn’t impressed with the budget deal or Trump’s plan which adds to the national debt. "We voted against it for a reason. I think it's a little bit hypocritical to cry 'profligate spending' when President Obama was in the White House and not standing on the same soapbox when it's a different president,” Garrett admitted.
Lawmakers are working out the details of their own budget, which they need to pass by the end of next month.