Donald Trump told 46 of the nation’s governors Monday that he has a plan to make the federal government “lean and accountable to the people.” His plan includes raising defense spending by $54 billion. He says he will offset the increase in spending by trimming other federal departments and agencies.
Currently, the U.S. spends more on defense and military than the next 7 nations combined, according to a report from 2015.
On Twitter, WikiLeaks pointed out that Trump’s proposed increase would nearly match what Russia spends total on military and defense:
An anonymous source within the White House Office of Management and Budget told reporters that cuts would be made across the board. Specific agencies that have been named are the State Department (including money for foreign aid), the EPA, and others.
Here is a brief overview of the current annual budgets for some of the biggest federal agencies and departments (outside law enforcement, national security, and defense), starting with the two already mentioned:
State Department: $50 billion
Environmental Protection Agency: $8.3 billion
The rest are in order from highest to lowest budgets:
Department of Health and Human Services (including entitlement services): Over $1 trillion, approximately $83 billion is allocated for discretionary spending.
Department of Agriculture: $155 billion
Department of Transportation: $98 billion
Department of Housing and Urban Development: $60 billion
Department of the Treasury: $14 billion
Department of the Interior: $13.4 billion
Department of Labor: $12.8 billion
Department of Commerce: $9.7 billion
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blasted the proposal Monday:
Specific details of the budget blueprint are still not fully known, as President Trump will likely go into more detail during Tuesday’s address before a joint session of Congress. He said he would send his proposed budget blueprint to Congress in March.
Departments that will likely be spared cuts are areas of federal law enforcement, as the White House focuses on illegal immigration and enhancing border security by hiring more border agents and building a wall, along with an increase in marijuana prohibition enforcement, tougher and broader refugee and VISA vetting, and human trafficking busts.
An increase in federal law enforcement activity means more money must be allocated to those efforts, for the people, time, and resources required. So the $54 billion increase in defense spending will not be the sole increase in spending. But President Trump is confident he can offset the costs by looking to other areas of the federal budget.
“We are going to do more with less,” Trump told a room full of governors:
For voters who were drawn to Donald Trump’s pro-law enforcement and national message and promises of increased defense spending, he is proving to be a man of his word. However, as Trump is also promising “substantial” tax cuts, there are some who are skeptical of or outright reject the president’s proposals.
Here is some of the online conversation: