President Trump's first budget proposal includes an increase in defense and security spending by $54 billion but also aims to cut roughly the same amount from non-defense programs, according to the White House.
“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump said at a bipartisan gathering of US governors at the White House Monday, vowing substantial increases in defense, law enforcement and infrastructure spending.
The majority of “lower priority programs and most federal agencies” will see a reduction in their budget as a result of the proposal, according to an official at the Office of Budget Management speaking with reporters on background.
The official said those cuts will come through “unauthorized programs” and places “where there is duplication, where consolidation needs to occur.”
Few details were provided on how the cuts will be made, what programs specifically and the timeframe that they will be implemented. Several officials have made it very clear that the Environmental Protection Agency and foreign aid may be the first to see significant cut backs under the new plan.
The budget, one OMB official said, expects “the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding” over the years.
Congress, however, is in no way mandated to follow Trump's budget plan and in the coming weeks the details of the plan are expected to be released. Then the administration will work with agencies to figure out how they will focus on cuts to their funding.
Trump promised throughout his 2016 campaign that he would focus on spending cuts and tax reform which helped woo Republicans who questioned his commitment to other conservative principals.
“I want the American people to know that our budget will reflect their priorities,” Trump said in a budget meeting earlier this month. “We’ll be directing all of our departments and agencies to protect every last American and every last tax dollar. No more wasted money.”
“We’re going to do more with less,” Trump said, promising a government that’s “lean and accountable to the people.”
“With 20 trillion dollars in debt, the government must learn to tighten its belt,” Trump said.