Monday 26th February, 2018
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trumps-2019-budget-includes-some-cuts-some-funding-boost

Trump’s 2019 budget includes some cuts, some funding boost

Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 13th February, 2018

WASHINGTON, U.S. - The U.S. President Donald Trump rolled out his 2019 budget on Monday, unveiling some deep cuts to federal agencies and a massive funding boost for the Pentagon.

Trump’s White House budget for 2019 also includes proposals to cut deficits by over $3 trillion over a decade and lower debt levels as a percentage of the gross domestic product - however, it does not balance by doing away with annual deficits.

The budget also includes funding for Trump’s much-hyped infrastructure plan, which was put off in a bid to repeal ObamaCare and pass tax cuts.

The budget is seeking $200 billion in government funds to stimulate $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investments.

Many federal agencies — including the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department — would see budget cuts. 

Compared to the fiscal 2017 enacted level, some agencies and programs, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the TIGER grant program for infrastructure projects and the Community Development Block Grant program would be eliminated.

Meanwhile, other areas, including the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, would see budget increases.

The budget also calls for $85.5 billion in funding for veterans’ medical care and other programs to help retired service members’ quality of life.

It also calls for $17 billion in opioid-related spending for 2019.

The administration is also seeking funding to hire new law enforcement officers.

It is asking for pay for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to have the highest average daily detention capacity of immigrants in the country illegally.

Further, the budget also proposes reforms to welfare programs and Medicare as part of the administration's effort to reduce deficits. 

Further, it calls for repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with legislation modeled after a bill from Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (La.) that proposed converting funding for ObamaCare's subsidies to block grants for states.

Next month, the White House is reportedly planning to announce an agenda to overhaul the federal government. 

The agenda includes updating information technology and updating hiring and firing processes.

However, like other presidential budgets, Trump's blueprint will almost certainly not become law.

However, it highlights the White House's priorities in a crucial election year that looks to be dominated by debates about infrastructure, immigration and the nation's economic health.

This week, Mick Mulvaney, office of Management and Budget Director (OMB), along with Cabinet secretaries will be fanning out on Capitol Hill to testify on the budget and defend Trump's proposals.

Mulvaney said in an addendum to the budget that the administration “strongly” supports the defense spending levels in the budget deal but is proposing to fund non-defense discretionary programs at the level that's $57 billion below the new cap.

Mulvaney wrote, “We believe that this level responsibly accounts for the cap deal while taking into account the current fiscal situation.”

The administration requested in the addendum to provide some additional funds for fighting the opioid epidemic and the National Institutes of Health.

It is also said to have suggested fixing budget “gimmicks” used to circumvent the spending caps.

Commenting on the budget, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said, “This budget lays out a thoughtful, detailed, and responsible blueprint for achieving our shared agenda.”

However, the budget received negative reviews from Democrats with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saying, “The budget is a statement of our values, but the President’s brutal collection of broken promises and staggering cuts shows he does not value the future of seniors, children and working families.”

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