Trump Budget Proposes Steep Cuts To State Department, EPA

Thursday, March 16th 2017, 9:36 am
By: News On 6

'President Trump rolled out his first budget blueprint Thursday morning that would increase defense spending by 10 percent, funding for Homeland Security programs by six percent and dramatically slash funding to both the State Department and EPA.

The proposal covers both the current fiscal year as well as fiscal 2018, which begins October 1. It does not have the force of law, and is only used as a guideline for congressional appropriators who have the power of the purse.

Budget Blueprint

To offset Mr. Trump’s proposed $54 billion increase in defense spending for 2018 so that it doesn’t add to the deficit, he requests that an equal amount of $54 billion in cuts be made to domestic programs. The budget, which has been submitted to Congress, calls for a 28 percent cut to the State Department, USAID and Treasury International Programs and a 31 percent cut to the EPA. 

“We are going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people,” Mr. Trump said in the budget.

It’s been dubbed the “skinny budget” because it only contains discretionary spending numbers and does not include proposals for mandatory spending, which covers entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Just one-third of the nation’s $4 trillion budget is discretionary spending, while two-thirds is mandatory spending.

The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Veterans Affairs (VA) are the only two other departments besides Defense to receive proposed spending boosts in the budget.

The blueprint also includes a 2017 supplemental request of $1.4 billion to fund the initial developments for Mr. Trump’s plan for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. For the 2018 part of the blueprint, Mr. Trump requests $2.6 billion for the wall. The wall is estimated to cost over $21 billion.