President Trump wants Congress to approve a huge $ 4.4 trillion spending bill that would greatly expand the national deficit he’d vowed to cut.
The proposed spending burst comes months after lawmakers passed massive tax cuts, which trimmed billions of dollars in revenue from government coffers.
The President’s spending outline for the first time acknowledges that the Republican tax overhaul passed last year would add billions to the deficit and not “pay for itself,” as Trump and his Republican allies asserted.
Fiscal year 2019 faces a $ 984 billion budget shortfall, which could be higher when factoring in a two-year, $ 300 billion spending bill approved last week.
The commander-in-chief touted the budget Monday, while announcing his infrastructure framework at the White House.
Trump championed the record $ 686 billion requested for military spending, saying he gave Defense Secretary James Mattis everything he asked for.
“We took care of the military like it’s never been taken care of before,” Trump boasted.
The Defense Department wants to add 20 strategic missile interceptors to deploy at Fort Greely in Alaska — indicating military brass are still worried about a missile threat from North Korea.
But the spending numbers are likely to be molded as the House of Representatives and Senate debate the bills.
Donald Trump in the White House
Trump also wants Congress to approve $ 23 billion to beef up border security, including an eventual $ 18 billion to build a massive border wall with Mexico. It asks for an immediate $ 1.6 billion for a 65-mile segment of the wall in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.
Trump’s budget was originally meant to slash spending for domestic programs. His goal was canceled out last week, however, when he signed the $ 300 billion spending bill that boosted both military and domestic spending.
The budget does seek to cut about $ 1.5 trillion from Medicaid in the next 10 years — a major reduction for the health system aimed at helping the poor, which Trump previously indicated wouldn’t be touched.
Social Security and Medicare benefits were spared the ax in the proposed budget, but health care spending aimed at helping the poor who use the marketplace created under Obamacare would also see a $ 700 billion cut.
Democrats on Capitol Hill panned Trump’s proposal.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) referred to it as a “dead-on-arrival budget.”
Even some Republicans blasted it.
“This budget continues too much of Washington’s wasteful spending — it does not balance in 10 years, and it creates a deficit of over a trillion dollars next year,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.
“We cannot steal from America’s future to pay for spending today.”
With News Wire Services