Donald Trump campaigned on the contradictory ideas that he would both protect the safety net and cut the deficit and spending. Looking at who he has appointed as his advisers may provide clues on what decisions he’ll make when it comes to drafting his budget. In other news, Trump says a replacement plan could be coming as early as March.

The New York Times: Trump Vowed To Protect The Safety Net. What If His Appointees Disagree?
Two days before Election Day, Donald J. Trump traveled to Sioux City, Iowa, and proclaimed that he was the protector of federal programs aimed at helping elderly and low-income Americans. It was Hillary Clinton, he said, who was an untrustworthy steward of the working class and who would slash vital benefits. “I am going to protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare,” Mr. Trump said. “You made a deal a long time ago, a long time ago.” The pledge followed earlier promises to enact a new paid-maternity-leave benefit and not to make cuts to Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor. (Alcindor, 2/23)

The Hill: Trump: Healthcare Plan Coming In March 
President Trump said Wednesday that he expects a healthcare plan to come forward as soon as next month. “Maybe mid to early March we’ll be submitting something that I think people will be very impressed by,” Trump told reporters, according to a pool report. It remains unclear whether Trump is referring to a plan that the White House would release on its own, which could throw off congressional efforts, or simply a joint plan with lawmakers introduced in Congress.

CQ Roll Call: White House Signals Possibility Of Its Own Path On Health Care
The White House on Wednesday declined to rule out that President Donald Trump could push his own plan to replace the 2010 health care law rather than pursue the course set by congressional Republicans. When asked whether there will be a single White House-congressional GOP plan, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer left the door open for the president to roll out his own plan — no matter what lawmakers do. Minutes later, Spicer referred to “the president’s plan” when discussing how the administration intends to achieve one of its top campaign goals. Since Trump’s election, which also saw the GOP keep the House and Senate, Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have celebrated an era of “unified” GOP governance.

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