These are the promises that Trump ran and won on.  Call or write to your representatives in congress if you agree that these cuts need to be made.  Without those of us at the grassroots letting our voices be heard,  congress won’t have the backbone to do this.  Nancy 

Trump Budget Seeks Big Cuts to Environment, Arts, Foreign Aid

EPA, State Department are among those to see sharp spending reductions to offset military outlay in White House plan

March 16, 2017

President Donald Trump called for sharp cuts to spending on foreign aid, the arts, environmental protection and public broadcasting to pay for a bigger military and a more secure border in a fiscal 2018 budget blueprint released Thursday.

The budget proposal is certain to run into stiff opposition in Congress, where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have already signaled they are unlikely to enact Mr. Trump’s deep cuts when they pass spending bills that actually fund the government.

The budget proposes hefty cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health and the State Department. It also seeks to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and other independent agencies long in the crosshairs of some conservative Republicans.

The cuts, if enacted, would mean some agencies would have to lay off federal workers, though the budget doesn’t always offer exact head counts. It does specify that cuts to the EPA “would result in approximately 3,200 fewer positions at the agency.”

“You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it,” said Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director. “I would expect there would have to be reductions of forces at various agencies.”

The budget proposal is the Trump administration’s first stab at translating some of the president’s campaign promises into hard numbers. It shows how little room Mr. Trump has to work with if he is going to fulfill his promises to hold the federal budget deficit at current levels while also cutting taxes and preserving entitlement spending.

The entirety of the proposed spending cuts is falling on around one-sixth of all federal outlays, triggering huge reductions that are likely to make many of the proposals dead before arrival, even in a Republican-led in Congress.

The plan shows how the administration hopes to offset an increase of $54 billion in military spending with an equivalent amount of reductions across other programs, to avoid increasing the budget deficit, which the Congressional Budget Office has projected at $487 billion for 2018. The proposal leaves untouched roughly $2.5 trillion in annual outlays on Medicare, Social Security and other mandatory spending.

Additional proposals on taxes and entitlement spending are expected by mid-May, when the administration says it will release its more detailed budget proposals for fiscal 2018, which begins Oct. 1.

Presidents often propose budgets with provisions they know aren’t likely to be adopted by Congress, making the documents messaging tools as much as anything. President Barack Obama, for example, often proposed new taxes in budgets that weren’t universally supported by Hill Democrats, let alone by Republicans.

Already, Republicans have voiced alarm over proposed funding cuts to foreign aid. In addition, Senate rules require 60 votes to advance the annual appropriations bills that set each department’s spending levels. Republicans control 52 Senate seats, meaning the new president will need support from Democrats to advance his domestic spending agenda.

“You don’t have 50 votes in the Senate for most of this, let alone 60,” said Steve Bell, a former GOP budget aide who is now a senior analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “There’s as much chance that this budget will pass as there is that I’m going to have a date with Elle Macpherson.”

Still, the proposal lets Mr. Trump burnish his conservative credentials with a political base that has viewed him skeptically at times. Touching on Mr. Trump’s campaign slogan, the budget is titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.”

The budget’s main focus is the $54 billion defense boost over budget caps set under current law. It also revisits many themes Mr. Trump set out during the presidential race, including setting aside funding for a southern border wall—and lawyers to obtain land along the border needed for the wall—school choice, the nation’s nuclear arsenal, veterans’ health and treatment of opioid addiction.

“We went to what the president said during the campaign—we looked at his speeches, we looked at what we had written about him, and we also talked to him—and we turned those policies into numbers. And that’s what you see in the numbers,” Mr. Mulvaney said.

“You’re seeing us spend more money to defend the nation and more money at home and less money overseas.”

Compared with budget plans released by past administrations, Mr. Trump’s proposal is a much abbreviated document. There are no 10-year economic forecasts, or tax and revenue projections for the coming decade, as is typical in presidential budgets. Those aren’t expected until mid-May, the White House says. Instead, the plan looks only at fiscal 2018.

Mr. Trump’s so-called skinny plan clocks in at around 50 pages, compared with 200 for President George W. Bush’s skinny budget and President Barack Obama’s at over 130 pages.

The proposal shows a circumscribed role for the federal government across broad areas of public policy. The budget would cut $667 million in grants to state and local governments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including “pre-disaster mitigation grants,” which are intended to help with resilience in future emergencies.

Extra spending on school choice is more than offset with cuts to before- and after-school programs, teacher training, college work-study programs, some needs-based student grants and other Education Department cuts. The plan would eliminate a $2.4 billion state grant program for teacher evaluation and retention, along with a $1.2 billion program supporting after-school and summer programs.

The proposal would lop $250 million from the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, targeting programs that support research and education. The proposal would also end funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which provides consulting services for small- and medium-sized manufacturers, for a savings of $124 million annually.

The administration calls for zeroing out grant programs that have divided Congress in the past, like federal assistance for home heating costs and the Community Development Block Grant program—a benefit treasured by elected officials in many urban districts and opposed by budget hawks.

The Trump plan targets the EPA for the steepest cuts. It would defund the Clean Power Plan, meant to get states to cut carbon emissions; international climate-change programs; regional environmental efforts for the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and other areas; and another 50 initiatives such as the Energy Star program of rating appliances for energy efficiency.

Some proposed cuts to infrastructure funding could be reversed, Mr. Mulvaney said, if the Trump administration is successful in pushing a proposed $1 trillion infrastructure bill through Congress later this year.

That could partially offset cuts in the Department of Transportation, where Mr. Trump’s budget calls for a cap in funding for new mass transit programs and would eliminate $499 million in funding for the TIGER grant program, a competitive program launched in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis to support the construction of infrastructure deemed critical to national interests.

The budget proposal is the administration’s opening salvo for the 2018 budget process. Congress, however, still has not finished appropriations for fiscal 2017—current spending legislation only funds the government through April 28. Lawmakers passed that short-term measure in December after a protracted fight in the Senate, offering a small preview of battles expected to take place under Mr. Trump.



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