The Latest: Mulvaney backtracks comment on Trump budget

WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump's proposed budget (all times local):

3 p.m.

So White House budget director Mick Mulvaney would vote for President Donald Trump's budget after all.

Mulvaney, a former tea party congressman, flubbed a response at a Senate hearing Tuesday that made it sound like he was opposed to the very budget he came to testify in favor of.

Senior panel Democrat Patty Murray of Washington asked Mulvaney, "If you were in Congress would you have voted for this budget that you're presenting?"

Mulvaney responded that "I probably would have found enough shortcomings in this to vote against it."

His office later clarified that though Murray asked about Trump's latest budget, Mulvaney's response referred to last week's budget-busting spending agreement.

That measure, approved early Friday, rewrote Trump's new budget even before it was officially submitted.

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12:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump's own budget director says that if he were still a member of Congress he probably wouldn't vote for the very budget plan he hawked Tuesday to the Senate Budget Committee.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the panel that he "probably would have found enough shortcomings in this to vote against it."

But Mulvaney, a deficit hawk during three terms as a tea party congressman from South Carolina, said his job now is to represent Trump, who promises to avoid cuts to retirement benefits like Social Security.

Mulvaney drafted Monday's $4.4 trillion budget plan, which would cut safety net programs while greatly boosting military spending while putting the government on track to run trillion-dollar deficits for the next few years

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12:16 a.m.

President Donald Trump's budget for the upcoming fiscal year calls for steep cuts to America's social safety net and mounting spending on the military.

That combination in the $4.4 trillion budget plan submitted Monday to Congress steps far back from Trump's promises last year to balance the federal budget. If enacted, his plan would establish annual $1 trillion-plus deficits, a major reversal for Republicans who objected to increased spending during the Obama administration.

Trump's budget revives his calls for big cuts to domestic programs that benefit the poor and middle class, such as food stamps, housing subsidies and student loans. Retirement benefits would remain mostly untouched, as Trump has pledged, though Medicare providers would absorb about $500 billion in cuts — a nearly 6 percent reduction.

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