Wyden, Merkley criticize Trump’s budget as bad for America

SALEM — Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Oregon’s Democratic U.S. Senators, on Tuesday slammed President Donald Trump’s final budget proposal.

Trump’s budget would slash funding for social service programs including Medicaid, food stamps, welfare and payments to the disabled. It boosts funding for defense, border security and infrastructure, and includes funding for paid parental leave.

Wyden said Trump’s budget uses “failed economic theories” and is “a cynical assault on the fundamental idea that Americans should be there for one another when it counts.”

“I’m putting this budget where it belongs — in the trash can,” Wyden said in a statement. He later posted a photo to Twitter of Trump’s budget in a recycling bin, calling the proposal “brainless” and “unbelievably cruel.”

Merkley said the budget is “a disaster” for average Americans, who unlike Trump, worry about money. “The rich and powerful are doing just fine. The last thing we should be doing is stacking the deck even more in their favor,” Merkley said.

Trump’s budget proposal is only a suggestion. Congress has the final say over budgets and is unlikely to enact many tenets of Trump’s budget. But Merkley pushed back against the idea that the president’s budget means little.

“This budget isn’t just an accounting exercise by a bunch of politicians,” Merkley said. Instead, he said, “It’s a blueprint with enormous real-world implications for millions of people.”