On Monday, President Trump presented a budget for 2020 to the House of Representatives
The $4.7 trillion budget proposal is dead on arrival in Congress, but it will be presented as a statement of the president’s priorities, both to cut back and spend, and has quickly become a hackney for Democratic critics.
Fresh out of Trump’s border struggle with Congress, his budget plan requires Congress to spend 8,600 million more on a wall between the US. UU and Mexico, proposes spending cuts not related to defense and calls for a continuous increase in defense spending. The president also wants Congress to replenish a military construction fund that plans to make an operation to build the border wall after a national emergency is declared.
With the 2020 campaign on the horizon, the plan gives Trump the opportunity to promote his attempt to finance conservative priorities and make deep cuts in domestic spending programs that would be popular with his political base.
Along with a 5% increase in defense spending, the plan calls for cuts of $ 2.7 trillion in federal spending by reducing the budgets of a large number of federal departments and agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education and the Department of State, among others.
While the proposal gives Trump the opportunity to establish his political priorities, it also generates criticism for wavering in campaign promises.
Trump made a campaign pledge of 2016 to eliminate the national debt while he was in office, but the budget proposal projects that the national debt will increase to 31 trillion in 10 years.
And despite Trump’s promise not to touch Social Security or Medicare, his latest budget proposal would reduce Medicare expenses by 845 billion over 10 years.
Broadly speaking, few details
The initial implementation lacks details about the individual programs, which are expected to be delivered later this month. But it sets the stage for the president’s priorities to be directed to his re-election campaign, including immigration and national security.
In its proposal, the White House is calling for a cut in the general level of non-defense spending by 5% next year below current federal spending limits, a reduction of almost $ 30 billion. It would also increase military spending by 5% to 750,000 million dollars, compared to 716,000 million dollars.
The Trump administration is using a war contingency fund as a maneuver to bypass the defense budget ceiling, which lawmakers have already ridiculed as a budget gimmick.
Although the plan comes with a built-in deficit of more than $ 22 trillion, Trump administration officials described it as a “return to fiscal health” that will not hinder economic growth.
The president’s proposal would expand the federal budget deficit to $ 1.1 trillion in the next fiscal year, while demanding to balance the budget by 2034 by assuming that the economy could grow faster than most economists anticipate. .
The latest budget aims to balance the budget in 15 years, instead of the traditional 10-year period. The government blamed Congress for ignoring the cuts proposed last year, which has caused a delay in the moment when the balance can be achieved.
In its updated forecast, the administration projects that the nation’s debt will increase to more than 31 trillion dollars in the next decade by 2029. Currently, it has more than 22 trillion dollars.
“President Trump’s budget takes steps in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Steve Womack, an Arkansas Republican who sits on the House Budget Committee.
The White House predicted in its budget that the economy will grow at an average of 3% each year over the next decade, including 3.2% in 2019. It also anticipates that the economy will gradually slow down to 3.1% in 2020, at 3% in 2021 and 2.8% in 2026.
While it is difficult to predict these forecasts, the White House figure is at odds with the projections made by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF anticipates that the growth of EE. UU It will decrease to 2.5% this year and will soften even further to 1.8% by 2020, as the fiscal stimulus of tax cuts backed by Republicans fades.
Democrats in the House of Representatives have already criticized the proposal, saying it would leave the country less secure and protected. “President Trump’s budget once again presents an irresponsible and cynical view for our country, regardless of its human cost,” Kentucky Democrat John Yarmuth, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said in a statement. .
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York said on Sunday they would block Trump’s efforts to get $ 8.6 billion to build his wall.
“President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to obtain his costly and ineffective wall, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico,” they said in a joint statement. “We hope you learned your lesson.”
On Monday, Pelosi issued a second statement ridiculing the budget as it was written “for special interests and the richest 1% .”
“After adding $ 2 trillion to the deficit with the Republican Party tax scam for the rich, President Trump wants to loot up to $ 2 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid,” he said. “While demanding billions more for its wasteful and ineffective wall, President Trump will steal hungry students and families, rural communities and American farmers, clean air and clean water, and vital investments that create jobs throughout the country”.
As in previous years, Trump’s plan also requires $ 200 billion for infrastructure expenditures, with the Trump administration open to working with Congress to build a package that can attract the support of the two parties.
Trump’s budget proposal includes funds for contracting with federal agencies, including US Customs and Border Protection. UU and the Executive Office of the Department of Justice for the Immigration Review, which have already had problems filling vacancies. That includes $ 314 million to hire 1,000 additional ICE police officers.
The government is also asking Congress for $ 40 billion to finance the State Department’s work on international diplomacy and aid in fiscal year 2020, a slight increase from last year’s request, but nowhere near that. the deep cuts made in 2017.
The Trump administration’s emphasis on funding The Pentagon on diplomacy has alarmed retired military leaders, who said on Sunday that restricting the State Department budget undermines US security and leadership.
“The military alone can not keep our nation safe,” said more than a dozen former combatant commanders, including retired generals David Petraeus and Anthony Zinni and retired Admiral James Stavridis, in a statement urging Congress to protect the financing for the Department of State.