POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

Reports of Trump Spending Cuts Ahead of Inauguration

The Capitol’s quadrennial celebration of democracy is in full swing, the president-elect following inaugural protocol amid unprecedented security protection. NJTV News Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron is in full credentialed regalia with an eye on the inauguration, the celebration and the president’s first official acts. He spoke with Anchor Mary Alice Williams.

Williams: Hey Michael. What’s the mood?

Aron: Well, Mary Alice, we’re on Pennsylvania Avenue along tomorrow’s inaugural parade route. It’s quiet in the city tonight. It’s a mild winter night. There’s a sense of history in the air. It feels peaceful in the city. Hoping to keep the peace are 57 New Jersey State Police officers. Our main event tonight is going to be the gala hosted by the New Jersey State Society — that’s a networking organization for New Jerseyans down here in D.C. Gov. Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, are the co-chairs of that event, but it’s uncertain whether they’re going to show up at that event. His office wasn’t clear today on that. They said he had a number of invitations for this evening.

Williams: Michael, there were reports this morning that the Trump administration will push some major spending cuts. What have you heard?

Aron: There’s a publication here in D.C. called The Hill, on Capitol Hill, that reported this morning that Trump plans to slash spending at the Departments of Energy and Commerce; cut spending some more at the Departments of Transportation, Justice and State; eliminate both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; and cut and privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. So we’ll see whether shrinking the federal government is a theme in his inaugural address tomorrow.

Williams: Michael, the Republican National Committee elected as its new chair Michigan Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel. Now that’s a job some said Christie wanted. What are you hearing about his prospects?

Aron: I don’t know that we know for certain he wanted it. We think he wanted it. It was a job he could’ve done and stayed as governor. We also think he wanted to be attorney general. But it was reported this morning in the Star-Ledger and elsewhere that Christie turned down four positions — Homeland Security secretary, Department of Energy, a White House advisory position, ambassador to Italy. It was also reported this morning that his wife really didn’t want to move to D.C. so it’s still unclear whether Christie is going to play a role at some point in a Trump administration. Mary Alice?

Williams: Thank you, Michael.