Lately, President Trump has been kind of predictable in the sense that at every turn we expect him to come up with unexpected policies or what some would refer to as his “promises.” The latest being the first budget blueprint he released on Thursday. The $1.15 trillion budget proposed by the President will basically affect every department that will incur cuts with other programs experiencing a total cut-off of funds.
Some of the agencies that would get cut off entirely would include public broadcasting, arts, development groups, etc. Others that will experience steep cuts would be agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department.
In short, every department is set to get a massive cut or complete cut-off with the funds getting transferred to three major agencies: Homeland Security, Defense Department, and Veterans Affairs who will get a generous boost from the budget.
Trump says that this budget is aimed at putting America first and the only way to do that is by making sure that the safety of Americans is taken care of; hence the big budget allocation to the National Security departments.
Trump proposes the following increases for the various departments: a 10% ($54 billion) increase in the defense spending, 6% increase in the Veteran’s Affairs Department, and a 7% raise in the Department of Homeland Security.
White House Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, describes this as a “hard-power budget.” This budget will use nearly $1.5 billion to stop illegal immigrants and $314 million to hire 1,000 new Customs and Immigration Enforcement Officers and 500 Border Patrol Officers.
The President’s budget proposal suggests $2.6 billion to be used for the building of the proposed border wall which excludes the $1.5 billion that he had asked for earlier in the 2017 as a supplemental spending measure.
The budget also seems to target the Obama administration’s efforts in fighting climate change with the first blow being towards the EPA where the cuts mainly focus on the previous administration’s Clean Power Plan, International Climate Change programs, and Climate Change Research. The proposed 30% EPA cut could see almost 3,000 people losing their jobs.
Some of the other departments that would experience significant cuts include the Labor Department with 20.7% ($2.5 billion), Agriculture Department with 20.7% ($5 billion), US Army Corps of Engineers with 16.3% (1 billion), Health and Human Services with 16.2% (12.6 billion), as well as others such as Transportation, Education, and Housing and Urban Development, etc.
The budget is set to not tamper with the Medicare and Social Security Departments, Mulvaney said. This is as a result of the promise that the President made during his campaign to leave alone the two elements. According to the Budget Director, these slashes will get directed toward other departments with an example being the cut from the Energy Department.
The budget is set to be met with heavy criticism from the lawmakers with the full budget to get released in May. The budget named “America First” will make America great again, according to President Donald Trump.