According to White House Budget Officials, President Trump is preparing to unveil his new defense spending plan, which will include adding $54 billion to the existing defense budget, and cutting the same from non-defense related costs, including a large reduction in foreign aid.
“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump told state governors at the White House on Monday. “It will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it,” he said.
The White House will be sending the president’s proposal to federal departments on Monday, as Trump himself prepares for budget negotiations with congress that could potentially take months to hash out. Regardless of President Trump’s plans, Congress ultimately has the authority to determine what changes are made to the budget, but with a Republic controlled Congress, the President may well receive the support he needs for his proposal.
According to one White House official that wished to remain anonymous, the new budget will include allocating funds for the building of new ships and aircraft, as well as establishing “a more robust presence in key international waterways and chokepoints” – a portion likely in direct reference to growing tensions in the South China Sea.
It is likely that the president’s plan to strengthen America’s military will be met with a great deal of criticism from the Left, particularly because one department on the budget chopping block will likely be the Environmental Protection Agency. The United States currently spends approximately $600 billion a year on defense, significantly more than any of its competitors on the planet, so increasing spending on the military at the expense of environmental protections will likely see very little support from Democrats on Capitol Hill.
It’s important to note, however, that officials within the American military have been begging for an influx of cash for years now – as the operational tempo of combat on multiple fronts around the world has left most of America’s military worn down and in desperate need of maintenance. Budget cuts in form of the sequestration have strangled the American military, leaving huge portions of our nation’s fighting aircraft unfit for service and leaving Naval vessels waiting years for refits they require in order to maintain America’s seaworthy presence.
The State Department will also likely find itself with a significantly smaller budget under Trump’s proposal. Current spending allots the State Department about $50 million annually, but White House insiders indicate that Trump may be seeking to slash their budget by as much as 30%, forcing it to restructure its internal organization and cut a number of programs.
“The president and his Cabinet are working collaboratively to create a budget that keeps the president’s promises to secure the country and restore fiscal sanity to how we spend American taxpayers’ money,” John Czwartacki, a spokesman from Office of Management and Budget said on Monday.
According to Czwartacki, the president will release another budget submission that would focus on tax reform and “so-called mandatory programs” like “food stamps, student loans, health programs and farm subsidies” in March.
Image courtesy of Reuters