WASHINGTON (Courthouse News) – President Donald Trump’s first budget calls for a $54 billion increase in military spending, offset by deep cuts to the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and other domestic groups.
The boom in defense spending is a 10 percent increase from the levels contained in the budget deal Congress struck last year. Dubbed the “America First Budget,” Trump says the increase will help members of the military “do only one thing: win.”
Some of the additional $2.6 billion Trump wants set aside for border-security measures will go toward building a wall along the southern border.
“Our aim is to meet the simple, but crucial demand of our citizens – a government that puts the needs of its own people first,” Trump’s message to Congress that opens the budget reads. “When we do that, we will set free the dreams of every American, and we will begin a new chapter of American greatness.”
The Trump budget completely pays for the increase in defense spending by cutting nondefense programs. Hit hardest are the EPA, whose budget Trump would slash by 31 percent, and the State Department, which would lose 28 percent of its funding.
“We are going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable to the people,” Trump wrote in his message to Congress.
The budget outright eliminates funding for a number of cultural programs, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Also getting the ax would be the Legal Services Corp., which helps fund legal aid for low-income people across the country.