Pressed by a reporter specifically on the effect of the cuts on programs like "Meals on Wheels," Mulvaney stressed that the program wasn't a direct federal program but one that states can decide to fund with their federal community development block grants.
"The CDBGs have been identified as programs since the second Bush administration as ones that were just not showing any results. We can't do that anymore," Mulvaney said. "We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good. Great, 'Meals on Wheels' sounds great. That's a state decision to fund that particular portion."
Justifying the cuts more broadly, Mulvaney said, "To take the federal money and give it to the states and say, 'Look, we're going to give you money for programs that don't work.' I can't defend that anymore. We can't defend that."
"We're $20 trillion in debt. We can't spend it on programs that did not show results," Mulvaney added.