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Detail of several copies of volume 1 of the draft budget of the US president, Donad Trump, after being delivered to the Committee on Budgets of Congress, this Monday, at the Capitol, Washington DC (United States). EFE/Michael Reynolds
Detail of several copies of volume 1 of the draft budget of the US president, Donald Trump, after being delivered to the Committee on Budgets of Congress, this Monday, at the Capitol, Washington DC (United States). EFE/Michael Reynolds

3 keys to understand Trump's new budget proposal

If we all know his proposal won’t come to fruition, why does it matter?

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If at this point you are still surprised by the budgetary ideas of President Donald Trump, then you haven’t been paying attention.

Trump introduced his new budget proposal for 2020 of $4.7 billion, which includes, "a dramatic expansion on programs and initiatives with Republicans," such as defense spending and barriers on the border with Mexico, according to the Washington Post.

The president's decision to ask for more money for his border wall after Congress’ first denial and his declaration of a National Emergency is exaggerated, even for some within his party.

Knowing that Congress, which now has a Democratic majority in the House, will probably block the initiative again, we ask ourselves: What is the use?

A way to inaugurate the election year

Seen up close, Trump's budget is virtually impossible in a divided Congress - between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate.

But his proposals serve to keep his electoral base solidified, considering that he continues to follow the schemes of his original campaign and seeks to fulfill his electoral promise of a border wall.

At the moment the budget will be debated - probably in mid-October - presidential campaigns will be intensifying and Trump's interests may be closer to the primaries than to actually getting something out of Congress.

Similarly, for those who saw the government shutdown as a presidential "strong hand" at the beginning of the year, a similar threat would make for good political strategy.

Sacrificing electoral promises

Although the border wall with Mexico has been the strongest promise in his political campaign, Trump had also assured that he would not "touch” Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid in 2015, according to Vox.

However, his new budget will seek cuts of approximately $1.5 billion in Medicaid, $25 billion in Social Security and $845 billion in Medicare.

Also, as expected, the president intends to cut $220 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as SNAP or, more commonly, as food stamps), $21 billion in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, $207 billion in the student loan program and seeks up to a 31-percent reduction in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Immigration is back at the center of the debate

The Administration's decision to seek an exaggerated increase in funds for defense agencies (8.9% in the National Nuclear Security Administration or 7.4% in the Department of Homeland Security) anticipates that, in the interest of a "renewed" electoral campaign, Trump will most likely use again the border and immigration issue as favorite weapons when it comes to getting (or keeping) votes.

As explained by the Post, among the $8.6 billion that Trump seeks in his budget and money diverted through his National Emergency, the White House, "could complete at least 722 miles of barriers," at the border, enough to declare fulfilled his electoral promise.

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