US President Donald Trump on Thursday last week unveiled his administration’s first budget blueprint. Weighted heavily in favor of security and defense, it proposes sweeping cuts to federal international aid and environmental protection budgets.
The director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget called the blueprint a “hard-power budget,” while US media has pronounced the Department of Defense the budget’s biggest winner and the and the State Department its biggest loser.
The State Department’s budget will be slashed by 28 percent, which will realize one of the Republican president’s more hardline promises made during the presidential election campaign.
The Pentagon is the biggest winner, with its budget set to increase by nearly 10 percent. The US Department of Defense already manages the largest defense budget in the world, which outstrips the combined budgets of the next seven highest spending nations.
In addition, the blueprint allocates approximately US$4 billion for this financial year to commence construction of a wall along the US’ southern border. Trump has consistently claimed that the Mexico government will pick up the tab for the wall’s construction. A report by investment analyst Sanford Bernstein & Co. estimates it will cost at least US$15 billion to build the wall.
The budget proposal will be heavily amended and fleshed out by Congress with a full budget expected to be released around May.
(CNA, translated by Edward Jones)