As Mr. Trump and his advisers press for bone-deep cuts to the federal budget, Republican governors have rapidly emerged as an influential bloc of opposition. They have complained to the White House about reductions they see as harmful or arbitrary, and they plan to pressure members of Congress from their states to oppose them.
Of acute concern to Republicans are a handful of low-profile programs aimed at job training and economic revitalization, including regional development agencies like the Appalachian commission and the Delta Regional Authority, which serves eight Southern and Midwestern states, seven of them with Republican governors. They are also protective of grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a $3.4 billion job-training program funded through the Labor Department.
Mr. Trump’s budget office has proposed to eliminate or deeply slash funding for all of those programs, along with dozens of others.
Kim S. Rueben, a budget expert at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, said the retrenchment in Mr. Trump’s spending plan appeared to be significantly out of step with his campaign promises to use the federal government as a machine for creating jobs, especially in distressed Midwestern and rural areas.
The White House’s proposed cuts would be felt in matters well beyond economic development: A budget briefing circulated last week by the National Governors Association, a nonpartisan group, identified a long list of Trump-backed cuts to programs that support states.
Those cuts could come on top of a potentially huge restructuring of the federal Medicaid program under a Republican-backed health care law. The bill under consideration in the House of Representatives would impose an impossible fiscal burden on states.
Republicans have long argued for a more limited federal role in matters of economic engineering and social welfare, preferring to collect less tax revenue at the national level and hand over responsibility for a range of programs to state and local governments. But in practice, state leaders in both parties often balk at taking on such burdens.
Some of the governors who have voiced worry about the White House budget are among the country’s most conservative.
So far, the administration has no apparent strategy to placate uneasy Republican governors.
By way of defending such extensive cuts, Mr. Mulvaney said simply that the White House’s priority was military spending and that other reductions were necessary to advance that goal.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment