Here comes the ax: Congress and even Trump’s cabinet have yet to learn of planned cuts

by WorldTribune Staff, January 19, 2017

The ax cometh, as WorldTribune correspondents report Washington, D.C. is like an armed camp.

The security measures are in preparation for both an inauguration and a power struggle  on a scale the capital of the Free World has never seen.

The Trump administration plans major cuts to several agencies, and the elimination of a few, including the NEA. /AFP/Getty Images

Congress and even President-elect Donald Trump’s own cabinet are said to be not be  fully aware of the scope of Team Trump’s blueprint to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.

The Trump transition team and career staff at the White House met ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy, The Hill reported on Jan. 19.

Under Trump’s plan, the departments of Commerce, Energy, Transportation, Justice and State will see major reductions in funding, with several programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated.

Trump’s cabinet picks have yet to be apprised of the reforms, which would reduce resources within their agencies.

The budget offices of the various departments will have a chance to review the proposals, offer feedback and appeal for changes before the president’s budget goes to Congress.

According to the Hill report, two members of Trump’s transition team are discussing the cuts at the White House budget office: Russ Vought, a former aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence and the former executive director of the RSC, and John Gray, who previously worked for Pence, Sen. Rand Paul and Speaker Paul Ryan when Ryan headed the House Budget Committee.

“Vought and Gray, who both worked for the Heritage Foundation, are laying the groundwork for the so-called skinny budget — a 175- to 200-page document that will spell out the main priorities of the incoming Trump administration, along with summary tables. That document is expected to come out within 45 days of Trump taking office,” the Hill report said.

Trump is expected to release his administration’s full budget, including appropriations language, supplementary materials and long-term analysis, toward the end of his first 100 days in office, or by mid- to late April.

Whether Trump’s first budget will include reforms to Social Security or Medicare is not clear.

Trump vowed during the campaign not to cut Medicare and Social Security, a pledge that Rep. Tom Price, his pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, told lawmakers in testimony Jan. 18 has not changed.