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Schumer says Democrats will 'emphatically oppose' Trump's proposed cuts


Top Democrats pledged Thursday to push back against President Donald Trump's budget blueprint, which calls for big cuts to some domestic programs to fund a defense buildup.

"This budget shifts the burden off of the wealthy and special interests and puts it squarely on the backs of the middle class and those struggling to get there ... Democrats in Congress will emphatically oppose these cuts and urge our Republican colleagues to reject them as well," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

Congress ultimately controls appropriations, and a president's first request serves as a wish list that often changes. Democrats, and some Republicans, will likely oppose parts of Trump's proposed cuts.

Trump will submit a broader budget proposal later this spring. That will include plans for taxation and other parts of government spending.

Trump's budget seeks a $54 billion, or 10 percent increase, in defense spending. To offset that outlat, it would chop 28 percent from the State Department and 25 percent from the Environmental Protection Agency, also taking big chunks out of the Labor Department, Education Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development, among other agencies.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Trump's budget plan "throws billions of dollars at defense while ransacking" key programs for health, education and housing.

"It will leave our nation weakened," she told reporters Thursday.

The administration seeks to push Trump's priorities — trimming the size of the federal government and boosting military spending — without increasing the fiscal 2018 deficit or national debt. Democrats will oppose large parts of Trump's request, while some Republicans have already signaled they will push back on the proposed State Department cuts.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have already raised concerns about the State cuts and reduction in foreign aid money.

On Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement that he welcomed Trump's budget request. He said he wants to work with the administration to "shrink the size of government, grow our economy, secure our borders and ensure our troops have the tools necessary to complete their missions."

Ryan did not address whether he supported the extent of the proposed cuts.

— CNBC's John Harwood contributed to this report