Ryan Noncommittal on Trump’s Budget Request

While several influential Republicans have been critical of President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to some government agencies in the administration’s budget request for fiscal year 2018, House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday downplayed some of that friction.

“When a president submits a budget, that is the beginning of the budget process,” the Wisconsin Republican and former House Budget Committee chairman told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference. “Do I think we can cut spending and get waste out of the government? Absolutely. Where and how and what numbers – that is something we’ll be figuring out as time goes on.”

Around the Hill, Republican leaders offered lukewarm responses to Trump’s first budget proposal. Rep. Diane Black (Tenn.), who chairs the Budget Committee, said in a statement that “the previous administration neglected” the military, and she spoke highly of strengthening the armed forces.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, the House GOP’s lead negotiator on government spending, was more cautious than Black. In a statement, the New Jersey Republican said he wants to “strike a balance that will enable us to fund the federal government responsibly and address emergency needs, while ensuring this legislation will clear the Congress.”

Trump proposed a $54 billion increase to defense spending for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. He also asked Congress for supplemental funding for the remainder of fiscal 2017 to begin construction of a wall along the border with Mexico and to pay for equipment upgrades for the fight against the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS.

Senate Democrats earlier this week warned Senate Republicans that demanding funding for the border wall in a stopgap spending bill would risk a government shutdown.

Ryan did not seem too concerned about the April 28 deadline for a stopgap measure.

“I’m not worried about the end of the year,” he said. “I believe we’ll hit our benchmarks.”


Washington Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

President Donald Trump defended his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., after it was revealed that in June 2016 he met with a Russian lawyer who has ties to the Kremlin. The meeting came after he was led to believe the lawyer would provide damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that the information was part of the Russian government’s effort to assist his father’s presidential campaign. The meeting included a Russian-American lawyer who’s a former Russian intelligence officer

Washington Brief: Trump Says He Didn’t Learn of Son’s Meeting With Russian Lawyer Until This Week

President Donald Trump said he did not hear “until a couple of days ago” about a June 2016 meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer who might have had damaging information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He also said he spent more than 20 minutes of his two-hour meeting last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin pressing him on election meddling.

Washington Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

The Supreme Court allowed part of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to take effect, while saying the temporary restrictions could not be imposed on people who have a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States. Hawaii brought forth a legal challenge that asked a federal judge to clarify whether the Department of Homeland Security violated the Supreme Court’s instructions regarding which family members qualify as having bona fide relationships.

Load More