Trump budget to boost defense, slash elsewhere
Military spending to increase by 10%; cuts to nearly every agency
President Trump signed off on top-line numbers in a budget outline that seeks to make good on his campaign promises by increasing military spending by 10% and offsetting the cost with deep cuts to other agencies across the federal government.
“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget, very much based on those two with plenty of other things but very strong,” Trump said Monday. “And it will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it.”
He said he will lay out more detail Tuesday during a prime-time address to a joint session of Congress.
“This defense spending increase will be offset and paid for by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the federal government,” Trump said. “We’re going to do more with less.”
The White House said the budget outline includes a $54 billion increase in defense spending and an equivalent cut in non-defense, discretionary spending. That would mean the discretionary budget of $1.064 trillion would remain unchanged.
As part of the proposed cuts, which would affect nearly every agency, the administration will seek to decrease foreign aid, something the president referenced Monday morning during a meeting with governors at the White House. Trump said the budget “puts America first by keeping tax dollars in America.”
It includes investments in law enforcement and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We can do so much more with the money we spend,” Trump said. “With $20 trillion in debt — can you imagine that? — the government must learn to tighten its belt, something families all across the country have had to learn to do, unfortunately.”
The White House sent the numbers Monday to individual agencies, which will be tasked with filling in the details of where cuts and increases would be made before the White House finalizes the budget proposal and sends it to Congress in the coming weeks. Congress will be responsible for debating and passing spending bills, on which Trump would have the final sign-off.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, didn’t wait to hear more details. He said Trump’s proposed cuts — roughly 10% of non-defense, discretionary spending — would take “a meat ax to programs that benefit the middle class.”
“A cut this steep almost certainly means cuts to agencies that protect consumers from Wall Street excess and protect clean air and water,” Schumer said in a statement Monday. “This budget proposal is a reflection of exactly who this president is and what today’s Republican Party believes in: helping the wealthy and special interests while putting further burdens on the middle class and those struggling to get there.”
Among agencies whose funding could be on the chopping block are the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Housing and Urban Development and State.
Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the budget outline numbers do not take into account revenue projections from promised tax cuts or added spending on infrastructure. Nor do they rely on any financial impact from a repeal-and-replace of the Affordable Care Act. He said those items would be included in a “full-blown” budget proposal that would be submitted to Congress in May.
“With $20 trillion in debt ... the government must learn to tighten its belt, something families all across the country have had to learn to do, unfortunately.” President Trump
President Trump tells the National Governors Association his budget “puts America first by keeping tax dollars in America.”