BUDGET SPEECH PREVIEW: Trump Is Planning These Cuts to Make Way for a Military Spending Surge.
Domestic programs and foreign aid would as a whole absorb a 10%, $54 billion cut from currently projected levels—cuts that would match the military increase. The cuts would be felt far more deeply by programs and agencies targeted by Trump and his fellow Republicans, like the Environmental Protection Agency as well as foreign aid. Veterans’ programs would be exempted, as would border security, additional law enforcement functions and some other areas.
“We’re going to start spending on infrastructure big. It’s not like we have a choice—our highways, our bridges are unsafe, our tunnels,” the president told a group of governors at the White House on Monday. He added, “We’re going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable to the people.”
However, Trump’s final version of the budget is sure to leave large deficits intact—or even add to them if he follows through on his campaign promise for a huge tax cut.
His plan faces strong opposition from Democrats, who possess the power to block it. The immediate reaction from Republicans was mixed, with prominent defense hawks like Sen. John McCain of Arizona saying it would do too little to help the Pentagon and fiscal conservatives and supporters of domestic agencies expressing caution.
This is where we find out if the President has any cat-herding skills.