WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Fox News Channel’s Outnumbered Overtime to discuss the priorities President Trump outlined in his budget request to Congress: keeping America safe through improved military defenses and border security, growing the economy, and responsibly reducing mandatory spending. Whip Scalise called out Democrats who criticize the budget request yet refuse to put an alternative on the floor for a vote.
Click here or on the image above to watch the interview.
On President Trump’s priority to keep America safe made clear in his budget request:
“President Trump is serious about following through on his promise to keep America safe. That includes securing our border. Obviously, if you look at his budget it has a whole array of things to secure the border: more border patrol agents, more technology at our ports of entry, but also more physical barrier including wall. That’s as it should be.
“He’s also rebuilding our military, which is another part of keeping America safe. [He makes] a huge commitment to our nation’s veterans. I just met with Secretary Wilkie today, the VA Secretary. There’s another $19 billion in the budget for our veterans so that they can have the health care that they deserve. When they come home, they’ve got injuries. We need to take care of our veterans and President Trump’s budget follows through on that commitment. It’s all about keeping America safe and keeping our economy growing. We need to keep building on that momentum.”
On reaching a balanced budget through growing the economy and reigning in mandatory spending:
“Ultimately the budget does focus on reducing government. If you look in the nondefense discretionary part of the budget, the President makes actual cuts, which are necessary. So many of these agencies that grew under Barack Obama are being reduced under President Trump. Strengthening the military, but cutting other areas. Those are the priorities that should be there. But also growing the economy.
“There are two ways that you actually can get back to a balanced budget, which we need to. One is to grow the economy. We are doing that. Unemployment is dropping, millions of more people are in the workplace paying taxes instead of being on different welfare programs. That’s a healthy improvement.
“The other side is getting control over mandatory spending. Let’s take a look. Medicare right now, under current law, is going bankrupt in the next eight years. That’s a serious problem. We need to save Medicare from bankruptcy. The Democrats’ plan of ‘Medicare for All,’ literally puts another 200 million people on Medicare and makes Medicare go bankrupt even quicker. That’s a dangerous approach that actually increases the deficit. So, you can see a contrast in approaches. Let’s save Medicare from bankruptcy while growing our economy and keeping America safe.”
On the importance of making the difficult spending decisions now to preserve critical programs like Medicare:
“First of all, if you don’t make any changes to Medicare it goes bankrupt in eight years. The actuaries say that. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue. The people who actually run the Medicare program have made it very clear. If we don’t make those changes and save it from bankruptcy, that’s when bad things start happening. We shouldn’t sit back and let that happen.
“Democrats who say leave it alone or even worse go ‘Medicare for All,’ where you put 200 million more people on Medicare, a program already going bust. It makes it go bust quicker. How is that a responsible approach?”
On Democrats’ budget hypocrisy:
“Harris, think about the hypocrisy of what democrats are saying right now. They’re criticizing President Trump’s budget, which keeps America safe, strengthens our economy, and focuses on getting our economy moving again. Then, the Democrats have said today they are not even going to do a budget. Again, how hypocritical of Speaker Pelosi and her liberal lieutenants criticizing President Trump’s budget at the same time that they are saying they won’t even do a budget because their coalition is so split right now that they are moving toward socialism. They are afraid of bringing a socialist budget to the floor because it might actually pass and show the American people what they really stand for.”