With budget, Trump throws opening jab in next funding fight with Congress

Leroy Wright
March 12, 2019

The budget includes an $8.6 billion request for funding to build a wall on the southern border, according to an administration official.

"President Trump hurt millions of Americans and caused widespread chaos when he recklessly shut down the government to try to get his expensive and ineffective wall, which he promised would be paid for by Mexico", they said.

Trump is banking on robust economic growth, but some economists say the boost from the Republican tax cuts are waning.

Mr Kudlow, interviewed on "Fox News Sunday", conceded that the new request would likely mean a renewed fight in Congress over wall funding.

The request is far more than the $1.4 billion Congress allocated for wall construction in January after a standoff between the president and Democrats, which led to a five-week partial government shutdown.

With a built-in deficit of more than $22 trillion, the Trump administration described next year's budget for the fiscal year starting on October 1 as a "return to fiscal sanity" that won't hinder economic growth.

The administration is also asking Congress for $USD40 billion to fund the State Department's work on worldwide diplomacy and aid in fiscal 2020, a slight increase from last year's request but nowhere close to addressing deep cuts made in 2017. While Trump has called for boosting the military, cutting taxes, and cutting the budgets of domestic agencies and social welfare programs, numerous Democrats have proposed something much different.

An official 2020 White House budget won't appear until later this year.

"If we don't have a strong military, you don't have to worry about debt, you have bigger problems", Mr. Trump said in a Rose Garden press conference where he declared a national emergency.

The Democratic chair of the House budget committee, Congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky, called the proposed cuts to essential services "dangerous".

500,000 Protest in Algeria Against Bouteflika
Major demonstrations were reported in other cities across the country by security sources, Algerian media and social networks. One scenario, he says, "is that the president steps down, handing power to the head of parliament".

Kudlow predicted that US economic growth can continue at 3 percent in 2019 and beyond, even as many private economists look for a slowdown this year as the impact of the 2017 Republican tax cuts wears off.

Trump and other Republicans have said the federal budget is full of waste and bloat, and that many federal agencies could still perform their functions with less taxpayer assistance.

Even with the cuts, which the White House said would add up to $2.7 trillion in savings over a decade, the budget office said budget would not balance until 2034, exceeding the traditional 10-year outlook.

The budget will also cut funding overseas.

It asks for $8.6 billion to build a wall on the border with Mexico. The budget calls for Congress to approve up to $50 billion over 10 years in tax credits for donations to "scholarship programs for families of elementary and secondary students who are seeking state-defined public or private education options"-similar to some state-level school choice scholarship programs".

While the House has voted to revoke the emergency and the Senate may have enough votes to hold up the measure, neither chamber has enough votes to override an assumed veto by Trump.

The president's proposal, set for release Monday, also seeks to increase spending for the military but cut back sharply on money for domestic programs in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Calling the porous border a threat to safety, Trump in February declared a national emergency in an effort to pull together additional funding for the wall.

The administration will invest more than $80 billion for veterans services, a almost 10 per cent increase from current levels, including "significant" investments in rehabilitation, employment assistance and suicide prevention. And even though they have proposed budget cuts before, only to be rejected by Congress, his top advisers want to dig in on the cuts this year, convinced Americans will support them.

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