Military Industrial Complex Wins:
White House Calls for $54B Bump in "Defense"
Spending, Sharp Domestic Cuts
The Trump administration has not said how much
money it will ask Congress to spend in total.
By Alex Guillén, Sarah Ferris and Jeremy Herb
February 27, 2017 "Information
- The White House took its first steps
Monday toward what would be a dramatic
reshuffling of the $3 trillion-plus federal
budget, sending guidance to agencies that calls
for a $54 billion increase in defense spending
and corresponding reductions to most
Office of Management and Budget officials
briefed reporters on the plan this morning,
President Donald Trump publicly explained his
proposal to focus federal spending on national
security, including boosts to the military,
local law enforcement and the Border Patrol,
while cutting domestic programs and foreign aid.
Trump has said his budget will not include cuts
to Medicare or Social Security, the usual
targets of Republicans trying to trim federal
budget follows through on my promise of keeping
America safe, keeping out terrorists, keeping
out criminals and putting violent offenders
behind bars or removing them from our country
altogether,” he said.
White House has not yet defined the depth of
cuts to particular programs. But some targets,
such as the EPA, are in the cross-hairs of
conservative groups that want severe reductions
in programs such as the Obama administration's
Director Mick Mulvaney said Monday afternoon the
Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget would
include $462 billion in domestic funding and
$603 billion in defense spending.
proposed defense total is a $54 billion increase
above the Budget Control Act spending caps for
defense. Mulvaney called it one of the “largest
increases in history.”
Obama administration also proposed a defense
budget that busted the spending caps in fiscal
2018, and defense hawks in Congress were not
happy with Monday’s announcement.
“Such a budget request would represent an
increase of $18.5 billion above the level
proposed by President Obama for fiscal year
2018,” Senate Armed Services Chairman
John McCain (R-Ariz.)
said in a statement. “In other words, President
Trump intends to submit a defense budget that is
a mere 3 percent above President Obama’s defense
budget, which has left our military underfunded,
undersized, and unready to confront threats to
our national security.”
McCain and House Armed Services Chairman
(R-Texas) have proposed a defense budget of $640
billion for fiscal 2018.
said the proposed increase in military spending
“will be offset and paid for by finding greater
savings and efficiencies across the federal
government.” He didn’t offer specifics, though
he pointed to recent attempts to negotiate
military contracts, adding, “We cut the hell out
of the prices.”
OMB officials declined to comment on how hard
the funding reductions would hit the EPA, which
now has an $8.1 billion budget. But they did
note the proposal would conform to Trump’s
campaign pledges to take an ax to the agency.
promised on the
campaign trail to "get rid of it in almost every
form," leaving only "little tidbits left.")
Foreign aid, which makes up about
1 percent of
the federal budget, will also be heavily
targeted. “This budget expects the rest of the
world to step up in some of the programs this
country has been so generous in funding in the
past,” an OMB official said.
president said he would “substantially” increase
spending to law enforcement, on the local and
federal levels, blasting violent crime in urban
areas like Chicago.
Trump administration has not said how much money
it will ask Congress to spend in total, or from
where the cuts would come. Administration
officials have said Trump’s budget blueprint
will not touch entitlement programs or other
mandatory spending, which makes up about
two-thirds of federal spending each year.
hinted that he would provide some additional
details in his joint address to Congress on
Tuesday night, when he is expected to lay out
his priorities for his first year.
White House will propose a full budget “later in
the year,” but the budget “blueprint” agencies
will now work on is expected by mid-March, the
OMB officials said.
hinted that budget would adhere to fiscal
standards, in line with previous remarks from
close advisers like OMB Director Mick Mulvaney.
the $20 trillion in debt, the government must
learn to tighten its belt,” Trump said.
also made clear he planned to stick with his
big-ticket agenda items like infrastructure.
Lamenting the state of the nation’s roads,
bridges and tunnels, Trump promised massive
going to take care of that. We’re going to start
spending on infrastructure, big,” Trump said.
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