Trump Budget Gives His Base Just What He Promised
EPA is hardest-hit agency
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2017 4:43 AM CDT
Updated Mar 16, 2017 6:46 AM CDT
President Trump's first proposed budget, released by the Office of Management and Budget, is photographed in Washington, Wednesday, March 15, 2017.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
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(Newser) – President Trump's first budget proposal was officially unveiled Thursday morning—and it delivers exactly what he promised. The proposal—titled "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again"—contains cuts that the Washington Post says could be the biggest reduction in federal programs since the post-World War II drawdown. The Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department are the hardest-hit agencies according to budget previews, with cuts of around 30%. Military spending would be beefed up by $54 billion under the proposal, $1.5 billion is earmarked for a border wall, and Homeland Security would get a 6.8% funding increase. A roundup of coverage about the $1.15 trillion spending plan:

  • The document is here.
  • Politico reports that the budget is "red meat" for Trump's base, with deep cuts to their most disliked government agencies and programs, though it is also what's known as a "skinny budget" because it is so short on details. A more detailed budget will be out in May.
  • The AP lists winners and losers. The latter group includes the departments of Energy, Labor, and Transportation, along with after-school programs and many independent agencies supported by tax dollars.

  • White House budget director Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that the cuts would lead to job losses, Reuters reports. "You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it," he said during a budget preview Wednesday. He said that White House officials had looked at Trump's campaign speeches, and "turned those policies into numbers."
  • The New York Times reports that congressional Republicans have already declared parts of the plan dead on arrival. "The administration’s budget isn’t going to be the budget," Sen. Marco Rubio told reporters. "We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets."
  • The Hill notes that such proposals tend to be "little more than guidance" for lawmakers—and that the Senate shot down Obama's 2015 budget 98 to 1.
  • The AP reports that the budget funds Trump's boost for the Pentagon, the biggest since Ronald Reagan's, with cuts to conservative targets including the National Endowment for the Arts, legal aid for the poor, and the AmeriCorps national service program.
  • NBC notes that Trump's proposal, which makes cuts to 12 out of 15 Cabinet agencies, only covers the "discretionary" quarter of the $4 trillion budget for the fiscal year that starts in October. The portion dealing with issues including taxation, Social Security, and Medicare is due in mid-May.
  • The Washington Post reports that the budget proposal's elimination of funding for public broadcasting means that Big Bird's doom has been predicted once again, though public broadcasting has survived previous "zero funding" proposals all the way back to Richard Nixon.

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