Trump Administration Releases 2020 ‘Budget for a Better America’

Although the Trump Administration had requested major funding for the border wall, Republicans and Democrats could not agree to a budget that fully incorporated border wall funding, and the 2019 budget that eventually passed, just shy of an early February deadline, included only a bare minimum amount of wall funding. Then, the following year, the administration didn't even pretend to cut spending and agreed with Congress to bust the budget caps by $300 billion, expanding the budget of nearly every program and agency Trump promised to cut or eliminate.

Trump's budget blueprint, to be released Monday, asks lawmakers to slash funding for most federal government agencies while boosting defense spending and setting aside $8.6 billion for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, according to a White House preview. It takes aim to eliminate or reduce ineffective programs and "reduces spending by $2.7 trillion over 10 years".

He says the budget will contain a proposed 5 percent across-the-board reduction in domestic spending.

However, Trump's plan would prolong federal deficits, with the administration estimating it would put the US on track for a balanced budget by 2034. It would also increase resources to fight the opioid epidemic with money for prevention, treatment, research and recovery, the administration said. The last budget showdown over the issue shut down much of the federal government for a record 35 days.

The White House is also requesting $3.6 billion to pay back the money the administration plans to redirect under the president's national emergency declaration. The president has resisted big, bipartisan budget deals that break budget caps, threatening to veto one a year ago.

'We hope they have an interest in maintaining and getting rid of the deficit, ' Vought said on CNBC.

The 2020 budget request is based on a 2017 plan by Customs and Border Protection officials, which called for 722 miles of the wall at an $18 billion price tag.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., added that Trump caused a government shutdown in December because he defied Congress and demanded a wall.

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The request would support implementation of a law Trump signed previous year to give veterans more freedom to see doctors outside the troubled VA system, a major shift aimed at reducing wait times and improving care by steering more patients to the private sector.

"It gives the president the ability to say he has fulfilled his commitment to gain operational control of the southwest border", an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of the budget request. The US Congress allocated money to reinforce southern border security during each of the past two fiscal years.

He's going to stay with his wall and he's going to stay with the border security theme.

"Without a renewed commitment to addressing the needs of our interstates, the system will become even more congested, more expensive to fix, and less safe - hindering our economic competitiveness and quality of life", the White House said in the budget documents. Military spending would increase from $715 billion this year to $750 billion.

"The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again", they said in a joint statement.

Even with the stiff congressional opposition, Trump's new budget request shows he plans to continue fighting on the issue in the coming months.

The budget document will project the economy growing at an average of 3 percent annually over the net decade, according to the official, including 3.2 percent growth for 2019. "Even with deep spending cuts, the president's plan would not balance the budget until the mid-2030s", the Post reports, "falling short of the 10-year time frame that Republicans have sought for years". Congress appears to have enough votes to reject Trump's action, but not enough to overturn his pledged veto. He also said Mexico would pay for it, though the Mexican government has repeatedly refused to finance the project.

  • Sonia Alvarado