The first significant piece of legislation under unified Republican rule is a budget measure that, as a prerequisite for a speedy repeal of the Affordable Care Act, endorses deficits adding almost $10 trillion to the debt over the coming decade.
Soon to follow is the health repeal measure itself, which could erase more than $1 trillion in “Obamacare” taxes that the party has previously held onto in earlier budget plans to keep its promise to balance the budget.
Republicans will also turn to a huge, $1 trillion-plus spending bill to wrap up unfinished Cabinet agency budgets. It’s likely to carry Trump priorities — billions of dollars for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and even more for the Pentagon.
Trump and incoming top White House officials such as his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, are making it clear that the new administration doesn’t support tackling the financial problems of the huge benefit programs that are the biggest drivers of future debt, Social Security and Medicare. A more pressing priority is a huge infrastructure spending plan.