Published: Sun, March 19, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

New US federal government spending plans laid out

New US federal government spending plans laid out

So does the Department of Homeland Security, which would get $2.6 billion to begin construction of Trump's signature border wall and $314 million to recruit, hire, and train new border patrol and immigration enforcement officers. The budget also would get rid of the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which cities use to fix up distressed neighborhoods.

Reich said he sees potential cuts to HEAP not just as a major problem for him, but as the first domino that could fall.

Not everything is rosy, of course.

During his campaign, Trump often brought up the care of veterans as a central priority. The National Institutes of Health stands to have its medical research budget cut by 18 percent under the new proposal, amounting to a $6 billion drop, while the Energy Department's Office of Science would lose $900 million and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would lose $250 million. NIH's budget would shrink 19 percent, and the agency would be reorganized, according to the report.

Meanwhile, the budget cuts all funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Pentagon is notorious for losing track of large sums of money, fudging its numbers, lacking contract oversight, overpaying for supplies, wasting billions by building facilities and purchasing equipment that military leaders do not want or need and piddling away billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse through botched reconstruction efforts.

"We will see when (the budget) comes before the Appropriations Committee", she said. At home, I welcome his proposal's plan to rein in federal government agencies like the EPA, whose abusive and overreaching regulations have compromised our freedom and crashed our economy over the past eight years. The Heritage Foundation's Blueprint for Balance budget proposal from February inspired parts of the Trump administration's budget, but also includes proposals to limit the parts of the budget that lie outside the Congressional budget process. Congress faces an April 28 deadline to approve a budget for fiscal-year 2018, which begins October 1.

Trump has promised not to touch Social Security or Medicare benefits, and his Thursday budget doesn't mention reducing welfare programs.

The Trump budget calls for eliminating an worldwide food aid program, halting funding for a clean water initiative and reducing county-level staff for a 21 percent drop in discretionary spending at the Agriculture Department. "This budget proposal is a serious attempt to trim the fat in many different bloated areas of the federal government", Brandon said.

For the spending plan released Thursday, that's by design: Trump's so-called "skinny budget" includes only discretionary spending - funding for things like fighter planes, the Department of Education, and foreign aid that is approved on a regular basis by Congress. Numerous cuts it proposes are transparently created to play to Trump's populist constituency rather than save any meaningful amount of money.

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