The White House unveiled a budget proposal on Monday heavy on fulfilling President Donald Trump’s campaign promises, pressing for new spending on infrastructure and a border wall.
But the document – always a political exercise by Presidents that stands little chance of being adopted by Congress – is especially immaterial this year, since lawmakers approved a two-year spending plan just last week.
Instead, the budget serves as a demonstration of Trump’s priorities after a year in office. According to a blueprint released Sunday evening, the budget includes $200 billion meant to spur more than $1 trillion dollars in infrastructure spending; $23 billion for border security; and $17 billion meant to combat the opioid epidemic.
The Office of Management and Budget said the plan would cut deficits by $3 trillion over 10 years, a far cry from traditional Republican proposals that vowed to slash spending in a bid to balance the federal budget.
Instead, Trump has proposed massive new military spending and billions for border security, which he insists is necessary to protect the United States. The budget outline released on Sunday did not detail any cuts to spending, though further details of the budget were expected later Monday.
“As a nation, we face difficult times – challenged by a crumbling infrastructure, growing deficits, rogue nations, and irresponsible Washington spending. Through this budget proposal, it is clear that the President and this administration are determined to reverse these trends, and ensure greater prosperity for the hard-working American taxpayer,” Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement.
“Just like every American family, the budget makes hard choices: fund what we must, cut where we can and reduce what we borrow,” Mulvaney said. “It’s with respect for the hard work of the American people that we spend their tax dollars efficiently, effectively and with accountability.”
Included in the budget is $18 billion across two years for constructing a border wall and $782 million to hire 2,750 additional personnel at US Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Last week, Trump approved a two-year bipartisan agreement that would increase spending by $300 billion over two years, a plan lawmakers hope will end the pattern of fiscal standoffs that has colored political life for the past several years.