Trump Releases His First Budget Blueprint: Here Are The Winners And Losers
Update: echoing comments made by Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the top House Democrat said that the Trump budget proposal is “dead on arrival.”
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Today at 7am, Trump released his “skinny budget”, his administration’s first federal budget blueprint revealing the President’s plan to dramatically reduce the size of the government. As previewed last night, the document calls for deep cuts at departments and agencies that would eliminate entire programs and slash the size of the federal workforce. It also proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which the White House says will be offset by the other cuts.
“This is the ‘America First’ budget,” said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman who made a name for himself as a spending hawk before Trump plucked him for his Cabinet, adding that “if he said it in the campaign, it’s in the budget.”
In a proposal with many losers, the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department stand out as targets for the biggest spending reductions. Funding would disappear altogether for 19 independent bodies that count on federal money for public broadcasting, the arts and regional issues from Alaska to Appalachia. Trump’s budget outline is a bare-bones plan covering just “discretionary” spending for the 2018 fiscal year starting on Oct. 1. It is the first volley in what is expected to be an intense battle over spending in coming months in Congress, which holds the federal purse strings and seldom approves presidents’ budget plans.
The White House has said the infrastructure plan is still to come.
That said, Congress controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, is likely to reject some or many of his proposed cuts with some republicans calling the budget “dead on arrival.” Some of the proposed changes, which Democrats will broadly oppose, have been targeted for decades by conservative Republicans. Moderate Republicans have already expressed unease with potential cuts to popular domestic programs such as home-heating subsidies, clean-water projects and job training.
Trump is willing to discuss priorities, said Mulvaney. “The president wants to spend more money on defense, more money securing the border, more money enforcing the laws, and more money on school choice, without adding to the deficit,” Mulvaney told a small group of reporters during a preview on Wednesday. “If they have a different way to accomplish that, we are more than interested in talking to them,” Mulvaney said.
The defense increases are matched by cuts to other programs so as to not increase the $488 billion federal deficit. Mulvaney acknowledged the proposal would likely result in significant cuts to the federal workforce. “You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it,” Mulvaney said.
A visual summary of the proposed budget changes is shown [above], courtesy of Reuters:
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