Trump's First Budget: A $54 Billion Hike in Military Spending
Donald Trump is expected to make his first address to Congress today, outlining priorities including a big hike in military spending at the expense of foreign aid and environmental programs.
On Monday, the White House announced that Trump is seeking to boost defense spending by 10% in his proposed budget plan for 2018. The blueprint will increase defence spending by $54bn but seeks to recoup that sum through deep cuts elsewhere, from State Department to other federal agencies, including foreign aid.
"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget," Trump said, adding that the hike in spending was needed to "rebuild the depleted military."
Trump said his goal was to have a military that served as a deterrent and was equipped to prevail in any conflict, as reported in EFE.
The President said also that his administration would rebuild the military as part of a philosophy based on peace through strength and that the US and its allies would eradicate the Islamic State terror organization out of our country."
He concluded by saying national security begins with border security and vowing to ensure that foreign terrorists have no chance to strike American citizens.
"We have to be smart. We can't let it happen to us. So let me state this as clearly as I can: We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell
The President's budget has raised differences among the G.O.P. Mr Trump's plan leaves large welfare programs untouched, despite Republican calls for reform.
The president has consulted government agencies about his plans and will present his budget to Congress in May.
Before he submitts the plan to Congress in mid-March, Trump needs to identify where the agencies can make savings and work out what he does with tax reform.
The administration's spending plans were made public a day before the president addresses a joint session of Congress. Trump is expected to use his address to lawmakers today to call for infrastructure spending, one of the themes of his campaign.
Democrats have not announced plans to boycott the address, as many did Trump’s inauguration, but some have pointedly invited guests including an Iraqi-American doctor, a Pakistani-born doctor and an American-born daughter of Palestinian refugees – each giving a human face to those affected by the president’s hardline policies, reported in The Guardian.
However, Trump starts with the benefit of Republicans controlling both the House and Senate and is likely to build on an inaugural address that called for an urgent break from the policies of Barack Obama.
“The president will lay out an optimistic vision for the country,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. “The theme will be a renewal of the American spirit.” As reported in The Guardian.