Economy

Highlights of Trump's $4.7 trillion budget request

Highlights of Trump's $4.7 trillion budget request

Trump's budget calls for $200 billion in new infrastructure spending, though White House officials say they are deliberately not offering many specifics on how the funding should be used and hope to work with Congress on that front.

President Donald Trump's newest budget forecasts the USA fiscal deficit surpassing $1 trillion this year and staying above that level until 2022.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement that Trump's plan "is not worth the paper it is printed on".

At that point, the emergency declaration is expected to be tied up in court challenges.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer admonished President Donald Trump on Sunday for the White House's reported plan to secure an additional $8.6 billion in funding from Congress for his long-promised border wall, warning the commander-in-chief that history would "repeat itself" should he follow through with this request. Money targeted for the wall "would be better spent on rebuilding America", they said.

The proposal came within President Trump's draft budget proposal - a document that also calls for a roughly $5.5 billion funding cut for the National Institutes of Health, despite the recent announcement of research and public health initiatives to end new HIV transmissions by 2030 and develop new treatments for childhood cancer. Additionally, the new budget will cut $845 billion from Medicare in the next decade, according to The Washington Post.

That means some departments and programs may see steeper proposed cuts than 5 percent. To stay within the caps, it shifts a portion of the military spending, some $165 billion, to an overseas contingency fund, which some fiscal hawks will view as an accounting gimmick. The administration is counting on robust economic growth, including from the 2017 Republican tax cuts, to push down the red ink. Some economists say the economic bump from the tax cuts is waning, and they project slower growth in coming years. The national debt is $22 trillion. Of those numbers, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) rightly complains, "Consider that the president's budget proposes we spend vastly more money than we take in for 15 years, bust the spending caps again, leave ourselves with about a trillion dollars in deficit spending in fiscal 2020, accumulate debt well over $30 trillion by 2030, and lead us to spending more in interest payments than we do on Social Security or defense".

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The concept, as laid out in Monday's budget proposal, would limit spending on prescription drugs for seniors with Medicare coverage, providing financial certainty to both patients and drug manufacturers while leaving the government to pick up the tab for anything seniors spend on drugs past a certain threshold.

In addition to the pay raise, the White House defense budget proposal asks for funding "for a full range of compensation programs, from monthly incentive pays to recently modernized retirement benefits". Overall, Trump is seeking $12.2 billion.

The White House proposal also calls for an expansion of the nation's missile defenses against nuclear threats, focusing on the "hit-to-kill" missile ranges in Alaska.

Like past presidential budget proposals, Trump's plan was highly unlikely to become law, especially with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives. Under the budget, major sections of both the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid would be turned over to the states starting in 2021. And few Republican lawmakers want to be dragged into another health care fight.

It cuts the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 16 percent and Education by 10 percent, but includes $1 billion for a child care fund championed by the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser.

Trump is proposing the creation of a new federal tax credit to promote school choice. The plan again targets reducing veteran suicides as a top priority and sets aside $4.3 billion to improve the department's computer system and website. That's a 90 percent cut from the $300 million the program has gotten in most years since it began in 2010.

Also controversial is it would use Pentagon funding for a border wall. Congress appears to have enough votes to reject Trump's declaration but not enough to overturn a veto.