Environmental and state departments face the greatest reductions in Trumps proposed budget, while the border wall would receive an immediate $1.4 bn
Donald Trump unveiled a $1.15 tn budget on Thursday, a far-reaching overhaul of federal government spending that would slash many domestic programs to finance a significant increase in the military and make a downpayment on a US-Mexico border wall.
Trumps proposal seeks to upend Washington with cuts to long-promised campaign targets like foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as strong congressional favorites such as medical research, help for homeless veterans and community development grants.
A budget that sets America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority because without security, there can be no prosperity, Trump said in a message accompanying his proposed budget, whose title, America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, borrows a phrase denounced by the Anti-Defamation League for its links to 1940 s Nazi sympathizers.
The $ 54 bn boost for the military is the largest since Ronald Reagans Pentagon buildup in the 1980 s, promising immediate money for troop readiness, the fight against Islamic State activists and procurement of new ships, fighter jets and other weapons. The 10% Pentagon boost is financed by $54 bn in cuts to foreign aid and domestic agencies that had been protected by Barack Obama.
The budget goes after the frequent targets of the partys staunchest conservatives, eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, legal aid for the poor, low-income heating assistance and the AmeriCorps national service program established by Bill Clinton.
This is a hard power budget , not a soft power budget, told White House budget director Mick Mulvaney.
Such programs were the focus of lengthy combats dating to the GOP takeover of Congress in 1995 and have survived prior attempts to eliminate them.
Lawmakers will have the final say on Trumps proposal in the arduous budget process, and many of the cuts will be deemed dead on arrival.
The administrations budget isnt going to be the budget, said Senator Marco Rubio. We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets.
Mulvaney acknowledged to reporters that passing the cuts could be an uphill struggle and said the administration would negotiate over replacing cuts.
This is not a take-it-or-leave-it budget, Mulvaney said.
Law enforcement agencies like the FBI would be spared, while the border wall would receive an immediate $1.4 bn infusion in the ongoing fiscal year, with another $2.6 bn planned for the 2018 budget year starting 1 October.
Trump repeatedly claimed during the campaign that Mexico would pay for the wall when, in fact, US taxpayers are almost certain to foot the bill.
Twelve of the governmental forces 15 Cabinet agencies would absorb cuts under the presidents proposal. The biggest losers are agriculture, labor, country and the cabinet-level EPA. The defense department, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Veterans Affair are the winners.
More than 3,000 EPA employees would lose their jobs and programs such as Obamas Clean Power Plan, which would stiffen regulations on emissions from power plants seen as contributing to global warming, would be eliminated. Popular EPA awards for nation and local drinking and wastewater projects would be preserved, however, even as research into climate change would be eliminated.
Trumps proposal covers merely approximately one-fourth of the approximately$ 4tn federal budget, the discretionary portion that Congress passes per year. It doesnt address taxes, social security systems, Medicare and Medicaid, or induce predictions about deficits and the economy. Those big-picture details are due in mid-May, and are sure to prove large probably permanent budget deficits. Trump has vowed not to cut Social Security and Medicare and is dead set against raising taxes.
The presidents going to keep his promises to leave Social Security and Medicare alone, Mulvaney said.
But the budget increases user fees, boosting the airline ticket tax by$ 1 per one-way journey. It would also slash subsidies for the federal flood insurance program thats a linchpin for the real estate marketplace, especially in coastal southern states and the Northeast.
The so-called skinny budget is indeed thin, glossing over cuts to many sensitive programs such as community health centers, national park, and payments for rural schools, offering merely a vague, two-page summing-up of most agencies, including the Pentagon, where apportioning its additional billions is still a work in progress.
Trumps proposal is sure to land with a thud on Capitol hill, and not only with opposition Democrats outraged over cuts to pet programs such as renewable energy, climate change research and rehabilitation of housing projects.
Republicans like Senator Rob Portman of Ohio are irate over planned elimination of a program to restore the Great Lakes. Top Republicans like majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Senate foreign relations committee chairwoman Bob Corker of Tennessee are opposed to drastic cuts to foreign aid. And even GOP defense hawks like armed service committee chairwoman Mac Thornberry of Texas arent satisfied with the $54 bn increase for the military.
Before the two sides go to war over Trumps 2018 plan, they need to clean up more than $1.1 tn in unfinished bureau budgets for the current year. A temporary catchall spending bill expires 28 April; negotiations have scarcely started and could get hung up over Trumps request for the wall and additional border patrol and immigration enforcement agents, just for starters.
Some of the most politically sensitive domestic programs would be spared, including food aid for pregnant women and their children, housing vouchers for the poor, providing assistance to special education and school districts for the poor and federal aid to historically black colleges and universities.
But the National Institute of Health would assimilate a $5.8 bn cut despite Trumps talk in a recent address to Congress of find remedies to the illnesses that have always beset us. Subsidies for airlines serving rural airports in Trump strongholds would be eliminated. It would also shut down Amtraks money-losing long-distance roads and kill off a popular $500 m-per-year TIGER Grant program for freeway projects created by Obama.
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