Trump’s first budget blueprint released

A blueprint of President Trump’s 2018 budget features spending cuts across the board, which would result in a much smaller federal workforce.

Some departments are slated for total demolition, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and more than a dozen others. However, defense spending would increase by $54 billion.

“This is the ‘America First’ budget,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Wednesday, according to a report in The Hill. “If [President Trump] said it in the campaign, it’s in the budget.”

Mulvaney admitted that a 28 percent reduction in the State Department’s budget was “fairly dramatic,” but by shoring up defense spending with money cut from the departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resources will instead go towards national concerns, such as fighting terrorism and cybercrimes, enforcing sanctions, curtailing illegal immigration, and stopping government waste and fraud.

Federal funding for research on climate change and the practice of sending billions of taxpayer dollars to foreign countries would be stopped.

 Mulvaney said that he expects pushback from lawmakers, but noted that this is just a blueprint; a full budget will be released in May.

Programs such as Medicare and Social Security–which the president has promised not to cut–will be addressed then, as well as tax and spending projections into the next decade.

President Trump’s defense spending proposes the following increases:

  • 10 percent more for defense spending
  • the Pentagon’s budget would rise by 9 percent
  • Veterans Affairs would see a 6 percent increase
  • the Department of Homeland Security would get a 7 percent raise

Mulvaney called it a “hard-power budget,” which would spend “$1.5 billion to detain and remove undocumented immigrants, and $314 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol officers and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers,” according to the report.

Trump wants $2.6 billion allocated to build his proposed border wall, which is in addition to the $1.5 billion he requested earlier in a supplemental spending measure for 2017.

Senate Democratic leaders are poised to block funding for the border wall and stymie efforts to deport illegal aliens.

A reduction of more than 30 percent in funding for the EPA could result in the loss of more than 3,000 jobs and cut more than 50 programs, according to the report. Programs headed by NASA and the State Department would no longer be funded to fight and study climate change.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants more money to run the Internal Revenue Service, but President Trump intends to give the reviled agency a $239 million cut instead.

Even though its overall budget could see a 14 percent reduction in funding, the Education Department could still take in $1.4 billion to help out public charter schools and private schools.

Other departments that would experience cuts include the National Institutes of Health, which will reportedly lose $5.8 billion from its budget, and the Department of Transportation would take a 13 percent hit.

According to Mulvaney, money cut from those budgets would instead fund more efficient programs. For instance, while the Energy Department would lose money for climate-related research, it will get an increase in funding to maintain the nuclear weapons system.







 

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