President Donald Trump’s $4.1 trillion spending plan, which would slash everything from student loans to food stamps while sharply increasing money for the military, got mixed reviews from Maine’s congressional delegation Tuesday.

The one thing they all agreed on in their prepared statements is that Trump’s 62-page budget proposal, which contained far less detail than that of a typical municipality, will undergo serious revision as lawmakers dig into it.

“Congress — not the president — ultimately writes, votes on, and passes the budget of the federal government, and I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans in getting that done,” said Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a two-term Republican from Maine’s 2nd District.

The proposal, which also includes tax cuts, relies on controversial reductions in social programs that Democrats are especially upset about. But Maine’s GOP lawmakers have concerns about some of them as well.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said she will work closely with budget-writing colleagues to make “smart investments in biomedical research, infrastructure, national security and other important priorities for our country.”

Poliquin cited his support for many of Trump’s initiatives, but also vowed to keep in mind “the needs and priorities of all our families, communities, veterans and small businesses” in his district.


U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a 1st District Democrat, said Trump’s actual budget plan is “looking far, far worse” than an outline he put forth in March that she strongly opposed from the start. She cited his readiness to cut $800 billion from Medicaid and reductions to SNAP food benefits, school lunches and other programs.

U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent seeking re-election in 2018, said he appreciates “the need to work toward a more fiscally responsible budget,” but doesn’t think that deep cuts in programs “that support those who have fallen on hard times” is the way to do it.

“Many of the reductions proposed in this budget, he said, “will hammer thousands of people across Maine, including older, disabled and lower-income people. Hardworking Maine people who pay taxes expect a government that works for them, but they are the ones who will suffer when the tax cuts proposed in this budget directly benefit those who need it least.”

“The cruelty of this budget is hard to grasp. It will take health care and food away from thousands of people in our state, including older Mainers, children and people with disabilities,” Robyn Merrill, the executive director for Maine Equal Justice Partners, said in a written statement.

“The president’s budget puts tax cuts for the rich ahead of Maine families,” Merrill said. “These programs are lifelines into every community in the state.”

King denounced Trump’s reliance on “budget gimmicks,” cuts to children’s health and low-income heating assistance and other programs.


The senator said he’s convinced the nation can support needed national security spending “while also maintaining robust domestic programs. One does not have to come at the expense of the other,” he said, “but it will involve compromise.”

Poliquin hailed Trump’s push to require more of those receiving welfare benefits to work for them.

He said Maine has shown that work requirements along with job training can help people become less reliant on government and wind up better off.

But he also said he wants to maintain support for a number of programs eyed for cuts by the administration, including Community Development Block Grants, Meals on Wheels, public broadcasting and heating assistance.

Poliquin said he is also concerned about “drastic reductions” for such important environmental needs as the Acadia National Park, the Maine Healthy Beaches Program and lead remediation in Maine.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney spoke to the media about President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal 2018 federal budget in the Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday.

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