Trump Budget Request Rolls Out to a Quarreling Congress

Those hearings will officially kick off the fiscal 2018 budget and appropriations cycle in Congress, a process that has been on hold for months as lawmakers waited for Trump's full budget proposal and as they finished up last year's spending work.

USA stocks trimmed their gains on Tuesday, weighed down by weak economic data, while investors await more details about the budget plan.

Still, the proposal is seen by some analysts, and some members of Congress, as a sign that US soft power is being sacrificed at the expense of a huge rise in military spending.

The White House's assumption is that economic growth, as measured by gross domestic product, will reach 3 percent annually by 2020, and then remain there. In his introductory message in the budget, Trump wrote that "to unleash the power of American work and creativity - and drive opportunity and faster economic growth - we must reprioritize Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people".

"Deficit spending has become an ingrained part of the culture in the nation's capital", the administration said in its budget for fiscal year 2018, which starts from Oct.1, 2017.

US President Donald Trump is proposing to balance the federal budget within a decade by making sharp cuts to social safety net programs and less funding for global institutions and schemes. Cuts to a popular crop insurance program have already landed with a thud.

The budget also includes a surprise that's particularly unwelcome to big Midwestern farmers. If we want to cut programs, we can do that all day long.

Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, emphasized Tuesday that President Donald Trump and the White House aren't messing around when it comes to border wall funding - even though the president's budget only allows for a fraction of the wall's required resources.

"Through his budget proposal released today, President Trump is pursuing priorities we both share: rebuilding our military, supporting our soldiers and their families, securing our border, taking care of our veterans, and supporting those who work day in and day out to keep our communities safe".

Some analysts expect lawmakers to put aside Trump's proposed budget as they craft their own budget and spending plans.

For example, the budget includes a $1 billion cut to the National Cancer Institute, and it reduces the overall National Institutes of Health budget from $31.8 billion to $26 billion.

However, it does not touch the social insurance program Medicare and the Social Security retirement program, which are known for increasing national debt.

- Medicaid would be reduced by more than $600 billion over 10 years by capping payments to states and giving governors more flexibility to manage their rosters of Medicaid recipients.

The budget will reduce the SNAP food subsidy program for low-income families - a total of 44 million people in 2016 - by nearly $200 billion and it authorizes more responsibility for the states in defining requirements for the program's beneficiaries in terms of minimum hours worked and actively conducting job searches. He noted that while the recession is long over, about 42 million people still receive SNAP benefits, far more than when the recession began.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he is pleased the budget projects a balance and says he's never encountered a presidential budget that people didn't declare "dead on arrival".

Tuesday's budget blueprint faces a skeptical reception from Congress, where Republicans and Democrats oppose Trump proposals to cut domestic agencies and foreign aid by 10 percent and are recoiling from a $1.7 trillion cut over the coming decade from mandatory government benefit programs. Within the plan were $3.6 trillion in federal spending cuts spanning the next decade in a multitude of federal areas.

  • Zachary Reyes