President Donald Trump on Monday, Feb. 10, unveiled a $4.8 trillion budget proposal that would dramatically cut spending on foreign aid and certain social safety net programs while increasing funding for defense programs.
The new budget would reduce foreign aid by 21 percent, which is in line with the president’s priority for taxpayer savings and his effort to have other countries pay their “fair share” for their own defense.
The budget proposal would also slash the Environmental Protection Agency funding by 26 percent, and the Commerce Department by 37 percent. The Department of Housing and Urban Development would face a 15 percent reduction in funding, though $2.8 billion for grants to help combat homelessness would be allocated. And the Department of Health and Human Services would see a 9 percent cut, although $4.3 billion for fighting infectious diseases would remain allotted amid the coronavirus spread.
Nearly 50 million Americans experienced some form of mental illness in 2018.
The president’s new budget, out today, proposes the boldest reforms in decades to help those suffering from addiction and serious mental disorders. https://t.co/JJYiqfFeNv
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 10, 2020
The fiscal year 2021 budget further seeks to increase military spending 0.3 percent. It would put a greater focus on artificial intelligence by spending up to $2 billion by 2020.
Homeland Security’s budget would see a 3 percent increased. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s funding would jump by 19 percent and the Department of Veterans Affairs 13 percent.
The proposal seeks $2 billion for southern border wall construction. White House officials said the administration has secured funds for 1,000 miles of new wall in 2021.
“The 2021 budget request, which has increases for infrastructure, technology, and law enforcement personnel, is what’s required to gain operational control of the border,” White House officials told the Daily Caller.
Though the budget forecasts a $1 trillion deficit this year, it lays out a plan aiming to eliminate the federal deficit by 2035. In all, the plan seeks to cut $4.4 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years, including reductions in spending on food stamps and federal disability benefits, which result from adding more stringent work and eligibility requirements.
The new proposal is unlikely to pass in the Democrats-controlled House. It rather reflects President Trump’s visions and policy priorities as the nation heads into the 2020 elections.
“The budget is a statement of values and once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reacted to the budget announcement.
While top administration officials are expected to head to Capitol Hill this week to defend the president’s proposal, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said he will not hold a hearing on the budget because it would only spark “animosity” between administration officials and Democrats, reported The Hill.
“Because it turns into a diatribe against the president, I did not hold a hearing on President Obama’s last budget. And for that same reason, I’m not going to hold a hearing on this president’s budget,” Enzi said.