Trump Seeking 'Historic Increase' In Defense Spending, Planning Other Major Cuts
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 01, 2017,
Mar 01, 2017, 10:40
President Donald Trump was still working Monday evening on the final touches of an address to Congress that will focus on economic opportunity and national security, administration officials said.
Trump's budget efforts have been frustrated by the slow pace of Senate confirmations for his Cabinet officials.
The White House will propose boosting defense spending and slashing funding for longtime Republican targets like the Environmental Protection Agency in a set of marching orders to agencies as it prepares its budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The increase of about 10 percent for the Pentagon would fulfill a Trump campaign promise to build up the military.
According to an administration official, Trump's budget also will not make significant changes to Social Security or Medicare.
Asked about domestic programs, which fall into the non-defense discretionary part of the federal budget, Mulvaney said, "Some of them will actually be increased. We are going to start spending on infrastructure big".
The White House is sending federal departments a budget proposal on Monday which is planned to be made public and sent to Congress in mid-March after cuts are negotiated.
The US military is already the world's most powerful fighting force and the United States spends far more than any other country on defence. Budget negotiations with lawmakers can take months to play out.
"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget", Trump said during a bipartisan gathering of United States governors at the White House on Monday 27 February. "We're going to have it fixed, and we're going to repeal and replace, and I think you're going to see something very special".
White House Correspondents' Association president Jeff Mason acknowledged this, saying the dinner was a "celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic".
"We believe the amendment will be well supported in Congress given the current state of readiness, which the dollars will flow through the Operations and Maintenance and procurement line items", said Baird analyst Peter Arment in a research note Tuesday.
Jonathan Katz, who until recently was the deputy assistant administrator of USAID, said that Mr Trump's proposed cuts could damage American interests and influence on the world stage.
The tentative proposals for the 2018 budget year that begins October 1 are being sent to agencies, which will have a chance to propose changes.