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Trump says he will look 'very strongly' at welfare reform

  • President Donald Trump pushes for government spending cuts and says he will look "very strongly" at welfare reform.
  • He said his Cabinet members will push to make their departments as "lean and efficient" as possible, while still having "heart."

President Donald Trump on Monday said he is looking for ways to reduce government spending heading into the next budget season, including "welfare reform" ideas.

The president made the comments before a meeting with members of his Cabinet.

"One thing we're going to be looking at very strongly is welfare reform," Trump said, contending that "people are taking advantage of the system."

He did not specify what he would aim to do to overhaul the system.

Trump highlighted welfare reform as he promoted his administration's efforts to reduce government spending, even aside from the welfare changes he seeks. He said Cabinet officials would work with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to make their departments "as lean and efficient as possible" while still having "heart."

In May, the Trump administration proposed a fiscal 2018 budget that would chop federal spending by $3.6 trillion over a decade.

The proposal called for major spending cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, State Department and Education Department. It also sought to make steep cuts to programs like Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Congress, which controls appropriations, is unlikely to pass the major cuts the president has backed.

Critics say his administration is jeopardizing programs that provide crucial services.