After returning from the holidays on Wednesday, American lawmakers are likely to be battling over a federal budget. The key issue of discord between Republicans and Democrats is an increase in military spending which has been promoted by President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans.
For their part, Democrats want a proportional increase for non-defense spending, including on education, science, healthcare, infrastructure and environmental programs.
"The (Trump) administration has already been willing to say: 'We're going to increase non-defense discretionary spending… by about 7 percent,'" Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the Freedom Caucus group, told CBS.
Meadows, fiscal conservative and a Trump supporter, pointed to a hardline approach towards a new budget, saying, Democrats are saying that's not enough, we need to give the government a pay raise of 10 to 11 percent. For a fiscal conservative, I don't see where the rationale is…. Eventually, you run out of other people's money."
The tax overhaul is debt-financed and is expected to add $1.5 trillion over 10 years to the $20 trillion US national debt, Dem. Rep. Joseph Crowley told CBS. Crowley called the move "one of the least fiscally responsible bills in the history of the House of Representatives."
In turn, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who also voted for the tax overhaul, said that in 2018, welfare programs, including housing assistance and health insurance, will be a top priority for the Republican Party.
However, Democrats are concerned that Republicans will try to pay for the tax cuts by seeking spending cuts for social programs.