Trump Budget Would Cut $4.4T in Spending, Boosting Defense While Slashing Safety Nets & Foreign Aid

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☆ The All Nighter ☆

The White House on Sunday unveiled a $4.8 trillion budget proposal that would slash spending dramatically on foreign aid and social safety nets, while including $2 billion for a southern border wall and substantially boosting funding to NASA, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security.

Fox News has confirmed the details of the budget, which The Wall Street Journal first reported. The package, set to be formally announced on Monday, as-is stood little chance of passage in the House of Representatives, which the Democrats have controlled. Still, it served as a signal of the president’s priorities as Republicans have aimed to retake the chamber in the 2020 elections.

The plan aims to eliminate the federal deficit — or the difference between spending and revenue that is slated to exceed $1 trillion this year — by 2035. In all, the White House is seeking to cut $4.4 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years, including reductions in spending on food stamps and federal disability benefits through more stringent work and eligibility requirements.

Total cuts to “non-defense discretionary programs,” which do not include Medicare or Social Security, amount to $2 trillion in savings under the plan. The budget additionally calls for renewing the Trump administration’s tax cuts for individuals and families that would otherwise expire in 2025. Modifications in Medicare prescription-drug pricing would account for $130 billion in savings.

“Working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels,” Trump said during last week’s State of the Union address. “I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly. I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.”

Foreign aid would be reduced by 21 percent, in keeping with the president’s push to have other countries pay what he calls their “fair share” for their own defense. Trump’s temporary suspension of aid to Ukraine helped trigger impeachment proceedings; one of Republicans’ defenses was that the president has long sought to suspend or reduce U.S. financial commitments overseas — especially to notoriously corrupt countries.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would face a massive 26-percent reduction in funding. The Trump administration has rolled back Obama-era EPA regulations and oversight, saying they have hurt the economy for little benefit.

The proposal also would cut the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by 15 percent, while incorporating $2.8 billion for grants to help combat homelessness. And, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would see a 9 percent cut, although its $4.3 billion allocation for fighting infectious disease would remain amid the coronavirus spread.