Here's the First Taste of Trump's 'America First' Budget

First budget proposal will seek $54B increase in defense spending
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2017 10:59 AM CST
Trump's 'America First' Budget Ups Defense Spending 10%
President Donald Trump, followed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and White House Economic Council Director Gary Cohn arrives for a meeting on the Federal budget, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration isn't straying from its "America first" mantra: It plans to recommend some significant reallocation of funds in the 2018 budget, bumping defense spending by 10%, or $54 billion. An equivalent amount will be shaved off non-security spending for the budget year starting Oct. 1; law enforcement and veterans may also see additional funds come their way. The Washington Post reports that while few specifics have been released, officials did name foreign aid as being subject to "large reductions"; the paper points out that makes up one of the more minor parts of the federal budget. How the Office of Management and Budget official that briefed reporters put things, per Politico: "This budget expects the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding in the past."

Individual agencies can push back on recommendations with proposed changes. The OMB will pen the official fiscal 2018 request, which then goes to Congress in mid-March. The upshot for the AP: Trump's first pass won't reduce what is projected to be a budget deficit of $500 billion, and things will likely get ugly: "Democrats and some Republicans are certain to resist the cuts to domestic agencies, and any legislation to implement them would have to overcome a filibuster threat by Senate Democrats. A government shutdown is a real possibility." The Wall Street Journal explains one legal hurdle: a 2011 law that stipulates that defense and non-defense funding have to increase by the same amount; Congress would have to amend it. The AP notes that Social Security and Medicare will be touched lightly, if at all. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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