Trump’s 2020 budget calls for $2.7T in spending cuts, promises to erase deficit in 15 years

By Melissa Quinn |

President Trump will unveil his fiscal 2020 budget request to Congress on Monday which calls for $2.7 trillion in spending cuts and balances in 15 years, according to the White House budget office.

The budget from the White House is the first the president will send to a divided Congress, and the proposal is likely to face fierce opposition from the new Democrat-controlled House. But Trump’s spending plan highlights a number of his priorities, including strengthening border security to address the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and tackling the opioid crisis.

“In the last two, President Trump and this administration have prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending,” acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought said in a statement. “The budget that we have presented to Congress and the American people, ‘A Budget for a Better America,’ embodies fiscal responsibility, and takes aim at Washington’s waste, fraud, and abuse.”

The 2020 budget, Vought added, “will balance in 15 years, end runaway spending, and secure prosperity for future generations.”

Since Trump took office, the national debt has risen more than $2 trillion and currently stands at more than $22 trillion, a record high. But the president’s budget takes aim at government spending by calling for a 5 percent reduction in nondefense discretionary spending that will keep the budget under statutory spending caps. With the proposals included in the request for Congress, projections indicate the budget would be balanced by 2034, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

The spending plan seeks to boost border security and immigration enforcement to address what Trump has said is a crisis at the southern border. Trump has long urged Congress to provide him with money to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but had little success even when the GOP controlled both chambers. An impasse over wall funding led to a 35-day partial government shutdown that stretched from just before Christmas until the end of January.

Despite the fervent opposition from Democrats, Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal will seek an additional $8.6 billion for the border wall, according to reports.

Pushing for additional wall funding, however, could lead to another partial government shutdown, Democratic leaders warned Sunday.

To further address the situation at the southern border, the president’s budget calls for increases in the workforce for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, as well as policy changes to end sanctuary cities, which Trump has attempted to penalize through other actions.

To combat the opioid epidemic, a key priority for the Trump administration, the fiscal blueprint envisions continued investments in prevention, treatment, research, and recovery. It also calls for the creation of new platforms “for delivering services to the American people” as part of the administration’s efforts to modernize the federal government.

Taking aim at higher education institutions, Trump’s fiscal 2020 spending plan requires colleges and universities “to share a portion of the financial responsibility associated with federal student loans.”

It also allocates $80 billion for veterans, roughly a 10 percent boost from fiscal 2019, and, with an eye on defense, provides investments “in the capabilities and domains critical to future conflicts,” including space, artificial intelligence, and hypersonics.


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