Increase in military spending, Donald Trump proposes record $4.75tn budget

 US president Donald Trump.
US president Donald Trump.

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump sent Congress on Monday a record $4.75 trillion budget request that proposes an increase in military spending and sharp cuts to domestic programs like education and environmental protection for the 2020 fiscal year.

 Trump’s budget, the largest in federal history, called for defence spending to rise by nearly 5% to $750 billion — which is more than the Pentagon had asked for — and an additional $8.6 billion for construction of a border wall with Mexico. 

The budget for wall is more than six times what Congress gave him for border projects in each of the past two fiscal years, and 6% more than he has corralled by invoking emergency powers this year after he failed to get the money he wanted. 

White House officials said the budget would include a total of $1.9 trillion in cuts to mandatory safety net programmes, like Medicaid. 

The White House also proposed reforms to mandatory spending programs such as food stamps to cut $22 billion.

 The Republican president’s budget is expected to be rejected by Congress, where Democratic leaders on Sunday warned Trump against what they called a “repeat performance” of last year’s funding war, which led to a five-week partial shutdown of the federal government. 

This year, the stakes are higher. The October 1 deadline for a funding deal to keep the government running coincides with the deadline to lift the debt limit. 

Without an increase in the limit, the US government would risk a default, which would shock the world economy. 

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.

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