Mulvaney: If Trump Could Pass Spending Bills, Federal Budget Would Be on Path to Balance

Melanie Arter | July 29, 2019 | 10:28am EDT
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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

( – Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told “Fox News Sunday” that if President Donald Trump could pass spending bills, the federal budget would be on the path to being balanced and the deficit would be down.

“The Senate votes this week on a bill that would extend spending limits and also extend the debt limit into 2021. This is what the bill would do. It raises spending by $324 billion over spending caps, and runs out the clock on sequestration. No more forced spending cuts. Question, does the president want the Senate to pass it and if it does, will he sign this bill?” Fox News host Chris Wallace asked.



“Yes, and yes. Keep in mind the bill spends more money than the president wanted to spend. There's no question about that, but as I've said on this show and you and I have talked before, elections have consequences. And when the Democrats won back the House, everybody knew we were going to end up spending more money. So, what did we get in exchange?” Mulvaney said.

“We got more money for defense, which we think we need. We get more money for the V.A. which we think that we needed, and, this hasn't gotten nearly the attention, we got protections for the Republican policies that were in the previous year's bills,” he said.



“Keep in mind there's policy riders that go on appropriations bills where lawmakers who spend money try and use that money to change policy outcomes, and the Democrats wanted to limit our policies on the border. They wanted to limit our policies regarding pro-life. They want to limit our policies regarding deregulation, and we won on every single one of those. So did we spend more money than we wanted to? Yes. Did we get a lot in return? Yes,” Mulvaney added.

“Look at these numbers. After dealing with the great recession in his first term, the deficit under Obama dropped by an average of 11 percent a year in his second term. The deficit has increased by 15 percent a year in President Trump's first two years. Under President Trump, our national debt has increased by more than $2 trillion, and if this bill goes through, estimates are the Trump debt will top $4 trillion. How can Mick Mulvaney, budget hawk, support this?” Wallace asked.

“If you actually went to look at it and saw what Donald Trump would do if he could pass spending bills, which he can't, you would be on your path to balance, and the deficit would be down. Congress spends money,” Mulvaney said.

“You had -- wait a minute, you had Republican control of Congress for the first two years,” host Chris Wallace said.

“Yes, who also threw our budgets in the trash, as well as dead on arrival,” Mulvaney responded. “You asked me about Donald Trump. If Donald Trump were in charge, if Donald Trump --\

“He's the president,” Wallace interjected.

“But you also know your Constitution, which is that Congress spends the money. We have to deal with the Democrats in the House. We have to deal with Democrats in the Senate, because of the 60 vote rules. We are always going to spend more money when Democrats have that seat at the table,” Mulvaney said.

Wallace also asked Mulvaney for his reaction to the Supreme Court saying the Trump administration can spend the $2.5 billion in Pentagon money for the border wall.

“It's the right decision. We'll build about 100 miles of wall. We'll be at four miles a week by the fall, probably higher than that in the next year, and we are still on schedule to have 450 miles of wall built by the end of 2020,” Mulvaney said.



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