Trump to propose hike in U.S. defence spending, cuts to other agencies
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 01, 2017,
Mar 01, 2017, 10:18
Donald Trump has reportedly proposed an increase in the 2018 U.S. defence budget by $54bn, while imposing funding cuts to other domestic programmes and foreign aid.
President Donald Trump is seeking what he called a "historic" increase in defence spending, but ran into immediate opposition from Republicans in Congress who must approve his plan and said it was not enough to meet the military's needs.
The defense budget will be officially unveiled to Congress next month and is sure to set off a political battle in Washington, with Democrats likely to oppose cuts to certain agencies and programs, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State Department. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking on Fox News on Sunday, said Trump's budget would not seek cuts in federal social programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
White House officials said today that they will ask Congress to increase discretionary defense spending by $54 billion, to $603 billion, in the 2018 fiscal year which begins 1 October.
The White House will release a "budget blueprint" Monday afternoon, adding $54 billion in defense and security funding while cutting that amount from "lower priority programs" across government agencies. "We're going to start spending on infrastructure big", he said.
The president also referred back to 2011, when then-president Barack Obama spent a portion of his dinner speech roasting Trump. Still, the USA spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined, according to data from 2015.
Sanders said Trump will first travel to Newport News, Va. Thursday, where he will tout his push for an increase in defense spending at a soon-to-be commissioned aircraft carrier.
More than 120 retired United States generals and admirals are urging Congress to avoid reductions to USA diplomacy and foreign aid.
Trump's budget assumes annual economic growth of 2.4 percent, the second official said. "I don't think this is going to be the same old Christmas tree kind of State of the Union".
"We're also putting in a massive budget request for our beloved military". You know, one of the things we say in the south if a Girl Scout egged your house, would you buy cookies from her?
A source informed of the budget plans told E&E News Trump will push for a almost $2 billion cut to EPA's $8.1 billion budget. Trump's proposal is meant to maintain an equilibrium in spending without reducing America's $500bn federal deficit.
Axios reported the White House is planning to send its first budget draft to Cabinet officials Tuesday.