Military wins, environment and aid lose in Trump's first budget
17 March, 2017
President Trump is taking a beating in the press for plans to pursue significant cuts to the federal bureaucracy. Last Thursday he asked the US Congress for dramatic cuts to many federal programmes as he seeks to bulk up defence spending, start building a wall on the border with Mexico and spend more money deporting illegal immigrants.
Trump's budget outline is a plan covering just discretionary spending for the 2018 fiscal year starting on 1 October. The defence increases with $54bn are matched by cuts to other programmes so as to not increase the $488bn federal deficit. In his proposal with many losers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and State Department stand out as targets for the biggest spending reductions. Trump asked Congress to slash the EPA by $2.6bn or more than 31%, and the State Department by more than 28% or $10.9bn. Funding would disappear altogether for 19 independent bodies that count on federal money for public broadcasting, the arts and regional issues from Alaska to Appalachia. Trump's initial budget outline does not incorporate his promise to pour $1 trillion into roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure projects. The White House has said the infrastructure plan is still to come.