by John Steinberger | March 16, 2017 2:19 pm
President Donald Trump submitted a budget Wed. which calls for a $13.6 Billion decrease in discretionary spending compared with the 2017 fiscal year budget. The document is titled A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again. The discretionary budget does not address entitlement programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and welfare spending. You can read the Executive Budget here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf
Trump remarked, “The American people elected me to fight for their priorities and deliver on my promise to protect our nation. A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number 1 priority – because without safety, there can be no prosperity.”
Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the President’s Office of Management and Budget, stated, “The President’s commitment to fiscal responsibility is historic. American families make tough decisions every day about their own budgets, and it is time that Washington does the same.”
The Executive Budget calls for significant increases in defense spending ($54 Billion), immigration enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, cybersecurity and the Veterans Administration. Significant spending cuts were proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency (31%), the State Department (28%), the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (21%) and the Dept. of Labor (21%). It calls to eliminate several agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The blueprint will be taken up by the House Budget Committee.
While the blueprint calls for a 13% reduction in the Dept. of Education budget, it requests a $1.4 Billion increase in public and private School Choice programs. It encourages school districts to adopt a student-based budgeting system in which a dollar amount is allocated to each student regardless of the school he or she attends.
The budget includes $2.6 Billion for a border wall and $1.5 Billion for improved cybersecurity. There are provisions in the Dept. of Justice budget for increasing funding for counterterrorism efforts, anti-gang measures and a deportation force. There is also a request for a $4.3 Billion increase in discretionary spending for Veterans’ health care.
The State Department budget eliminates funding for the Global Climate Change Initiative and ceases funding for the United Nations climate change programs. Major cuts in the Environmental Protection Agency include eliminating the Clean Power Plan, which mandated utilities to generate electricity from renewable sources and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, stopping international climate change program funding and ending climate change research.
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