Acting WH Budget Director: Congress Has Been Ignoring Trump’s Spending Reductions for the Last 2 Years

By Melanie Arter | March 11, 2019 | 8:44pm EDT
Acting White House Budget Director Russell Vought (Screenshot)

( - Acting White House Budget Director Russell Vought defended President Donald Trump’s failure to eliminate the national debt within eight years like he promised during his presidential campaign.

During a White House press briefing on Monday, ABC News White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked, “You mentioned what the president promised during the campaign. During the campaign, he also promised that he would eliminate the national debt within eight years, and as you know, the debt at the end of his first year was at $20 trillion. Last year it went to $21 trillion; last month, $22 trillion. So what happened to that promise? I mean, the president has added historically large numbers to the national debt instead of keeping a promise to actually pay it off.”


Vought said the Obama administration doubled the national debt, while Trump, in contrast, sent Congress a budget that would have balanced within the decade.

“Look, again, the last administration nearly doubled the national debt, and when this president ran for office, he made a commitment to the American people that he would attempt to tackle the debt within eight years. This president did that the very first year that he came to office by sending forth a budget that balanced within 10 years and had more spending reductions than any in history,” the budget director said.



“But he's added $2 trillion -- more than $2 trillion to the national debt,” Karl said.

“He also came into office and had an economic recovery that was needed to put people back to work, get the economy going, and to rebuild the military, and had historic levels of military at $700 [billion] and $716 billion in national defense dollars,” Vought said.

“At the same time, Congress has been ignoring the president's spending reductions for the last two years. It's only now in our third budget that they're willing to have a conversation about the national debt. We've been trying to have it since we got to office,” he said.

“The president is putting forward these reductions: He's putting forward a 5 percent cut to non-defense discretionary spending. He's putting forward reforms to mandatory programs that are on autopilot while keeping his commitment to American seniors by not making changes to Medicare and Social Security,” Vought added.


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