President Donald Trump on Monday released his annual budget proposal for next year — and it calls for billions of dollars in cuts, as well more than $8 billion in spending for the security wall on the southern border.
A Budget for a Better America includes many of the priorities the president has identified — along with other spending items, for a total of $4.7 trillion for the fiscal year 2020.
The budget includes a greater demand for border wall funding, increased military spending, a reform in entitlements, and large spending cuts elsewhere in the government.
“We are now addressing our challenges from a position of strength,” Trump said to lawmakers near the beginning of the proposal.
“My 2020 budget builds on the tremendous progress we have made and provides a clear roadmap for the Congress to bring federal spending and debt under control. We must protect future generations from Washington’s habitual deficit spending.”
The budget proposal calls for $2.7 trillion in spending cuts from what it argues is wasteful government expenditures.
The administration is aiming to reduce non-defense programmatic spending by five percent below the spending cap level.
It also seeks to curtail ineffective government programs.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of State, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Interior are all looking at large cuts as well. The budget would also cut $845 billion over the next 10 years from Medicare.
Trump is asking for an increased budget elsewhere, despite a more general push for spending cuts. The budget includes $750 billion for national defense spending and more resources for veteran services. It also calls for an increase to help secure the southern border. The president has long argued for the need to stop illegal immigration in this country.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be provided $5.4 billion to help in its mission of fighting illegal immigration. That spending would go toward border security technology, more personnel, and the detainment of illegal aliens. The Department of Defense also gets $3.6 billion to assist in that mission.
The budget also calls for $8.6 billion in new funding for the construction of a border wall.
The fight for border wall funding already has been contentious — with an earlier request for funding leading to a record-long partial government shutdown and threatening another. Trump at the time was even asking for less, at $5.7 billion for the border wall.
Trump said late last year he would not sign any more spending bills unless they included $5.7 billion for the wall. Democratic leaders opposed providing any funding for the wall — which led to a partial government shutdown on December 22. But the president eventually backed away from his veto threat by signing the short-term bill on January 25.
The short-term bill reopened the government for another three weeks to give both sides time to negotiate a deal on border security. The conference committee to negotiate a deal eventually offered a compromise plan, which included $1.375 billion for physical barriers.
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 11, 2019
Trump reluctantly signed the deal — while also declaring a state of emergency at the southern border.
Trump’s declaration of a national emergency was to secure billions in funding to address what he argues is a crisis along the border. But the move has been met with lawsuits and opposition among lawmakers.
House Democrats passed a resolution to block to declaration on February 26. The Senate is expected to pass it with enough Republicans defecting.
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