On the Hill Other Issues

Trump to Cut Safety Net Programs, Increase Security Spending in Proposed Budget

President Donald Trump is expected to propose a $4.8 trillion budget that includes cuts to safety net programs, government agencies, and foreign aid and increases to national security programs, according to a senior administration official.

Trump is proposing a $4.4 trillion spending cut to safety net programs over 10 years. The budget includes $130 billion in changes to prescription-drug pricing for the Medicare program for older Americans, $292 billion from cuts in safety-net programs like food stamps and Medicaid, and $70 billion by adjusting federal disability benefit rules.

Trump’s $4.8 budget blueprint seeks an 8 percent cut to USDA’s budget, 8 Percent cut to the Education Department, 15 percent cut to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 21 percent cut to the State Department’s budget, 27 percent cut to the EPA’s budget, and 37 percent cut to the Commerce Department’s budget.

In contrast, the Department of Veterans, NASA, National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security are set for budget increases, ranging from 3 to 19 percent.

Trump is also set to ask for a spending increase for the Pentagon and billions for his border wall project. Trump will ask Congress for an extra $2 billion for border wall construction, $1.4 billion for Customs and Border Protection, and $1.9 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Fiscal Year 2021 budget request is predicated on robust economic growth, at three percent over the next decade. Trump believes his policies will not only drive this economic growth but shrink the federal deficit to 261 billion by 2030.

Washington reporters believe that the budget is unrealistic, especially given the deep cuts, democratic control of the house, and upcoming election. Politico Reporters Caitlin Emma and Jennifer Scholtes stated, “Democrats will never agree to carve up domestic programs for savings, and it will be up to Congress to decide on final fiscal 2021 spending levels.”

Reuters reporter Jeff Mason echoed the sentiment, “The two sides are unlikely to agree on any major legislation this year, though, as they fight for control of the White House and Congress in the November elections.”

[Kaiser Health News, 2/10/2020] [Reuters, 2/9/2020] [Politico, 2/9/2020]