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Federal budget watchers dive into President Trump’s ‘America First’ budget proposal

Mar 16, 2017

Sean Spicer Holds Daily Press Briefing At White House

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney answers questions regarding the budget proposal from the Trump Administration during a White House daily briefing on February 27, 2017.; Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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President Trump’s first federal budget proposal is out and, as many following its release expected, it calls for a major increase in defense spending while slashing the budgets of a number of government agencies, including 12 of the 15 Cabinet-level departments.

The plan, titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” calls for a $54 billion increase in spending on defense and national security, making the U.S. military and the Department of Homeland Security the big winners. The Departments of Labor, State, and Agriculture would all see cuts of more than 20 percent and the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget would be slashed by 30 percent. President Trump also asks for a $1.7 billion infusion this year, increasing to $2.6 billion next year, to start building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, so despite his campaign promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, it appears that U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill for the time being. Major themes absent from the budget include increases in infrastructure spending, a departure from Trump’s campaign promise to create a $1 trillion infrastructure program. Despite saying during his campaign that he wanted to eliminate disease, he’s also cutting the National Institutes of Health’s budget by almost $6 billion. As expected, future federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been eliminated.

What do you think of the spending priorities as set forth by the Trump Administration in his budget proposal? What are you happy to see?

Guests:

Roberta Rampton, White House correspondent for Reuters; she wrote the article, “Military wins in first Trump budget; environment, aid lose big;” she tweets @robertarampton

Romina Boccia, leading fiscal and economic expert at The Heritage Foundation, focuses on government spending and the national debt

Harry Stein, director of fiscal policy at the Center for American Progress

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.

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