President Donald Trump transmitted his first budget proposal to Congress on Thursday morning.
Titled America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, it proposes $1.1 trillion in spending. It proposes an additional $54 billion to help rebuild the U.S. military and sets aside approximately $1.5 billion for "The Wall" at the southern border with Mexico while making deep cuts to several agencies, including the EPA, HUD and foreign aid handouts from the Department of State.
In his message to Congress that accompanies the budget blueprint, Trump wrote:
The American people elected me to fight for their priorities in Washington, D.C. and deliver on my promise to protect our nation. I fully intend to keep that promise.
One of the most important ways the federal government sets priorities is through the budget of the United States.
Accordingly, I submit to the Congress this budget blueprint to re-prioritize federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people.
Our aim is to meet the simple, but crucial demand of our citizens—a government that puts the needs of its own people first. When we do that, we will set free the dreams of every American, and we will begin a new chapter of American greatness.
A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority—because without safety, there can be no prosperity.
That is why I have instructed my Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, to craft a budget that emphasizes national security and public safety. That work is reflected in this budget blueprint. To keep Americans safe, we have made tough choices that have been put off for too long. But we have also made necessary investments that are long overdue.
My Budget Blueprint for 2018:
- provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the debt;
- significantly increases the budget for immigration enforcement at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security;
- includes additional resources for a wall on the southern border with Mexico, immigration judges, expanded detention capacity, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol;
- increases funding to address violent crime and reduces opioid abuse and
- puts America first by keeping more of America's hard-earned tax dollars here at home.
The core of my first budget blueprint is the rebuilding of our nation's military without adding to our federal deficit. There is a $54 billion increase in defense spending in 2018 that is offset by targeted reductions elsewhere. This defense funding is vital to rebuilding and preparing our armed forces for the future.
We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they need to deter war, and when called upon to fight, do only one thing: Win.
In these dangerous times, this public safety and national security budget blueprint is a message to the world—a message of American strength, security and resolve.
This budget blueprint follows through on my promise to focus on keeping Americans safe, keeping terrorists out of our country and putting violent offenders behind bars.
The defense and public safety spending increases in this budget blueprint are offset and paid for by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the federal government. Our budget blueprint insists on $54 billion in reductions to non-defense programs. We are going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people.
This includes deep cuts to foreign aid. It is time to prioritize the security and well-being of Americans, and to ask the rest of the world to step up and pay its fair share.
Many other government agencies and departments will also experience cuts. These cuts are sensible and rational. Every agency and department will be driven to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending in carrying out their honorable service to the American people.
I look forward to engaging the Congress and enacting this America-First Budget.
Director of the Office of Management & Budget Mick Mulvaney, a former member of Congress, said the budget blueprint provides lawmakers and the public a view of the president's priorities. He said Trump's commitment to keeping his promises made the usually complex budget formulation process "as simple as translating his words into numbers."
"That is why you will find here a familiar focus on rebuilding and restoring our nation's security," he said. "Under the Obama administration, our shrinking military has been stretched far too thin. The military has been forced to make aging ships, planes and other vehicles last well beyond their intended life spans. The president will reverse this dangerous trend. From rebuilding our armed forces to beefing up our border security and safeguarding our Nation's sovereignty, this Budget makes security priority one."
Mulvaney said the 2018 budget blueprint does not add to the national debt, which means the Trump administration has to do what any American family must do when it creates a budget at home: it makes hard choices. Calling the president's commitment to fiscal responsibility "historic," he said not since Ronald Reagan's first term in office have more tax dollars been saved and more government inefficiency and waste targeted.
"Every corner of the federal budget is scrutinized, every program tested, every penny of taxpayer money watched over," he said. "Our $20 trillion national debt is a crisis, not just for the nation, but for every citizen. Each American's share of this debt is more than $60,000 and growing. It is a challenge of great stakes, but one the American people can solve. American families make tough decisions every day about their own budgets; it is time Washington does the same."
As a result, the 2018 budget blueprint eliminates and reduces hundreds of programs to focus spending toward "the proper role of the federal government." Among the independent agencies that will see complete elimination of their funding are:
- the African Development Foundation,
- the Appalachian Regional Commission,
- the Chemical Safety Board,
- the Corporation for National and Community Service,
- the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
- the Delta Regional Authority,
- the Denali Commission,
- the Institute of Museum and Library Services,
- the Inter-American Foundation,
- the U.S. Trade and Development Agency,
- the Legal Services Corporation,
- the National Endowment for the Arts,
- the National Endowment for the Humanities,
- the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation,
- the Northern Border Regional Commission,
- the Overseas Private Investment Corporation,
- the United States Institute of Peace,
- the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness and
- the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
The president's budget proposal is focused only on discretionary spending, which is less than half of total government spending. Mulvaney said the full budget, with specific mandatory spending cuts and tax proposals, will be released later in the spring and will provide the "full fiscal path" the Trump administration intends to pursue.
"For instance, the president has emphasized that one of his top priorities is modernizing the outdated infrastructure that the American public depends upon," he said. "To spearhead his infrastructure initiative, the president has tapped a group of infrastructure experts to evaluate investment options along with commonsense regulatory, administrative, organizational and policy changes to encourage investment and speed project delivery.
"Through this initiative, the president is committed to making sure that taxpayer dollars are expended for the highest return projects and that all levels of government maximize leverage to get the best deals and exercise vigorous oversight. The administration will provide more budgetary, tax and legislative details in the coming months."
Click here to read the entire 53-page document.
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