Trump: Will his National Emergency succeed?1:45
Donald Trump has called a National Emergency to fund his border wall. Can he make a deal?
Donald Trump’s administration has unveiled its third budget proposal.
The record budget request weighs in at $US4.7 trillion ($A6.6 trillion), and includes extra funding for defence, the border wall and NASA at the expense of healthcare, social security and education.
However, it does include a $US1 billion childcare fund, which has been championed by his eldest daughter Ivanka.
Ms Trump, who has had a strong focus on women’s economic issues, has lobbied for the childcare tax credit throughout her father’s presidency.
The budget request states that the White House “looks forward to working with the Congress to advance policies that would make paid parental leave a reality for families across the nation”.
It also includes a direct quote from Ms Trump: “Paid family leave enable parents to balance the competing demands of work and family, pursue their careers, and build strong and thriving families. It is an investment in the future of our workers, our families, and our country.”
I’ve spent much of the last 2 years focused on inclusive economic growth via workforce development and skills training as well as pro-working family policies such as the doubled Child Tax Credit & CCDBG.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) February 26, 2019
WHAT ELSE IS IN TRUMP’S BUDGET?
Mr Trump proposed a record $US4.7 trillion ($A6.6 trillion) budget, pushing the federal deficit past $US1 trillion but counting on optimistic growth, accounting shuffles and steep domestic cuts to bring future spending into balance in 15 years.
Reviving his border wall fight with Congress, Mr Trump wants $US8.7 billion for the barrier with Mexico, and he’s also asking for a $US34 billion boost in military spending, to a total of $US750 billion.
That’s alongside steep cuts in health care and economic support programs for the poor that Democrats — and even some Republicans — will oppose.
Among these are a $US2 trillion slash to healthcare — a $US1.5 trillion cut to Medicaid and $US845 billion cut to Medicare over the next decade, a $US25 billion cut to Social Security, including disability insurance, and a $US207 billion cut to the student loan program.
It provides money to fight opioid addiction and $US291 million to “defeat the HIV/AIDS epidemic”.
It cuts the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 16 per cent and Education by 10 per cent.
It also proposes $US200 billion toward infrastructure, much lower than the $US1 trillion plan Mr Trump once envisioned, but does not lay out a sweeping new plan.
Presidential budgets tend to be seen as aspirational blueprints, rarely becoming enacted policy, and Mr Trump’s proposal for the new fiscal year — which begins October 1 in the US — sets up a showdown with Congress over priorities, especially as he reignites his push for money to build the US-Mexico border wall.
The deficit is projected to hit $US1.1 trillion in the 2020 fiscal year, the highest in a decade. The administration is counting on robust growth, including from the Republican tax cuts — which Mr Trump wants to make permanent — to push down the red ink. Some economists, though, say the bump from the tax cuts is waning, and they project slower economic expansion in coming years. The national debt sits at $US22 trillion.
REACTIONS TO BUDGET PROPOSAL
Mr Trump called his plan a bold next step for a nation experiencing “an economic miracle”. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called his cuts “cruel and shortsighted” and “a road map to a sicker, weaker America”.
On Capitol Hill, Mr Trump’s budget landed without much fanfare from his allies in the Republican Party, while Democrats found plenty not to like.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it an “Alice in Wonderland document”.
The plan sticks to budget caps that both parties have routinely broken in recent years. To stay within the caps, it shifts a portion of the military spending, some $US165 billion, to an overseas contingency fund, which some fiscal hawks will view as an accounting gimmick.
Mr Trump has also reopened plans for repealing “Obamacare”, imposing work requirements for those receiving government aid and slashing the Environmental Protection Agency by about a third — all ideas Congress has rejected in the past.
By refusing to raise the budget caps, he is signalling a fight ahead. The president has resisted big, bipartisan budget deals that break the caps — threatening to veto one last year — but Congress will need to find agreement on spending levels to avoid another federal shutdown in the fall. Conservatives railed for years against deficits that rose during the first years of Barack Obama’s administration as tax revenue plummeted and spending increased during the Great Recession. But even with Republican control of Congress during the first two years of the Trump administration, deficits were on a steady march upward.
The Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, said Trump added nearly $2 trillion to deficits with the GOP’s “tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price”. The border wall remains a signature issue for the president, even though Congress refuses to give him more money for it.
To circumvent Congress, Trump declared a national emergency at the border last month as a way to access funding. Politicians are uneasy with that and set to vote in the Senate to terminate his national emergency declaration. Congress appears to have enough votes to reject Trump’s declaration but not enough to overturn a veto. The standoff over the wall led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history.
There’s also money to hire more than 2800 additional law enforcement officers, including Border Patrol agents, at a time when many Democrats are calling for cuts — or even the elimination — of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The wall with Mexico played a big part in Trump’s campaign for the White House, and it’s expected to again be featured in his 2020 re-election effort. He used to say Mexico would pay for it, but Mexico has refused to do so.
Trump budget boosts military and border wall2:29
President Donald Trump on Monday called for spending more money on the military and a U.S.-Mexico border wall while overhauling social programs for the poor in a budget plan that sets the stage for his next fight with the U.S. Congress. Nathan Frandino has more.