Top GOP chairman warns against Trump budget plan

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-New Jersey, leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Story highlights

  • House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen is a New Jersey Republican
  • Frelinghuysen wants President Donald Trump to consider cutting entitlements

(CNN)Another top House Republican is expressing concerns about President Donald Trump's budget outline that proposes deep cuts to federal programs but doesn't include major changes to entitlement programs, a key component of recent federal spending blueprints drafted by the GOP.

"We've reduced our discretionary spending over the last seven to eight years an incredible amount," House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen told reporters Tuesday.
Frelinghuysen said: "I'd like my other congressional colleagues to take a look at all those entitlement programs -- obviously Social Security is different than others because that's something that is not the traditional entitlement."
The spending panel chief told reporters he was meeting with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney later this week to get more details on the budget proposal.
Asked if House Republicans could pass spending bills that focus the cuts on non-defense programs but don't touch mandatory spending, the appropriations chairman hedged.
"We'll find out as we get more facts from the administration," Frelinghuysen said.
But he reiterated the need to look for savings from programs like Medicare, instead of concentrating on cutting back existing programs at departments across Washington.
"There's some pretty important programs that keep America open for business and that are vital to our national security, and we would be very good to take a look at some of the entitlement programs. Those are the real cost drivers," he said.
Trump has repeatedly said that he will not cut entitlements, and said Monday he planned to cut from other government departments with the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency expected to be a particularly hit.