President Donald Trump announced a $4.8trillion budget proposal on Sunday that will slash spending on foreign aid and social safety nets but will request billions of dollars to complete a wall at the US-Mexico border.
The budget plan will request $2billion to complete the controversial wall along the southern US border that Trump has demanded since his 2016 campaign to stop migrants from entering the country.
The proposal will also substantially boost funding for NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security.
However, it’s not likely that the budget plan, which is designed to reduce the country’s spending by $4.4trillion and deficits by $4.6trillion over the next decade, will pass in the Democrat-controlled House.
The plan sheds light on Trump’s fiscal priorities as he seeks re-election this year.
The plan seeks to fulfill Trump’s 2016 campaign promise to construct a wall along the southern US border, which has sparked controversy in Congress and triggered a historic five-week government shutdown last winter when lawmakers refused to fund the project.
The $2billion request is significantly less than the $5billion that Trump’s administration asked for last year.
The budget plan also focuses on military spending, boosting it by 0.3% to $740.5billion for fiscal year 2021, starting on October 1, a senior administration official confirmed to the Wall Street Journal.
The proposal includes shifting resources away from the Air Force to some of President Trump’s new priorities, including the recently created Space Force, Bloomberg News reported.
NASA will see the biggest boost with as much as a 12% increase to fulfill Trump’s goal of returning astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Trump’s budget will bolster NASA spending from about $22.6billion to $25.2billion in fiscal 2021 – one of the biggest spending jumps requested since the 1990s.
Overall the White House will cut reduce spending on food stamps and federal disability benefits and will modify Medicare prescription-drug pricing that could lead to $130billion in savings – something the president touched on in his State of the Union Address last week.
‘Working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels,’ Trump said.
‘I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly. I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay,’ he said.
Another major focus of Trump’s budget is to reduce foreign aid by 21% as the president continues to push for countries to pay their ‘fair share’ for their own defense.
Trump came under fire for temporarily suspending aid to Ukraine last year, a move which triggered impeachment proceedings over abuse of power.
Republicans defended the move claiming the president was seeking to suspend or reduce US financial spending overseas, particularly to corrupt countries.
The budget plans to cut 26% or funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), continuing Trump’s efforts to roll back Obama-era EPA regulations.
Overall social saftey nets will see $292billion in cuts impacting work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps.
In Trump’s State of the Union Address he boasted about the strength of the economy saying: ‘We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago and we are never going back.’
Under Trump’s plan, the federal budget deficit would shrink to $966billion next year from an estimated $1trillion in 2020 – more than twice what Trump projected in his first budget proposal in 2017.