Trump's call for budget cuts raises new fears of closure


President Donald Trump

Although the White House's budget request is only a simple message, the stance of President Donald Trump will help to arouse apprehension about the government's closure. | Tom Brenner / Getty Images

President Donald Trump will make an offer on Monday to cut opening costs, which will cancel any hope of seeing a big budget and will probably fuel new fears of a new government shutdown.

Trump will put on paper what the White House has already prepared for lawmakers: a bold plan to take 5% of the federal government's non-military arms budgets, while using an accounting trick to exceed the spending limits set for defense. . The 5% would be below the 2019 fiscal year budget limits for national agencies.

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Trump in his budget request should also revive partisan feuds on the wall of the border, project robust economic growth above 3%, take longer to balance the accounts that Republicans have advocated in the past and fund a new force space within the air force.

Although the request is simply a courier, the president's posture will help to raise concerns about the government's closure, about seven months before federal funding runs out again on September 30th.

On Capitol Hill, even Republicans say that the president will have to realize that the GOP must yield ground this year to Democrats, who hold a majority in the House and 47 seats in the Senate. But the Trump administration wants to stay true to its mission of reducing expenses.

"Congress wants an automatic agreement with big spending, and it is now upset by the loss of its favorite speech, namely that the president 's budget assumes an increase in ceilings," said Saturday a senior official. administration, suggesting an increase in budget limits. put eight years ago. "Congress has not battled their dependence on spending since 2011, and the administration forces the conversation before the debt crisis gets worse.

In recent years, congressional Democrats have insisted that spending increases above budget ceilings remain equal for defense spending and other spending. But officials of the Trump administration said the president would not comply this time with requests for funding "equally".

Congressional Republicans say this could create a new stalemate and a new halt. "Sorry, you chose to bargain, you have to bargain," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Who chairs the Subcommittee on Expenditures that funds the Ministries of Education, Labor and Employment. Health and Social Services. "They will all have to make compromises … And the longer they wait, the more the economy will be threatened, the more we risk sinking into a kind of confrontation that will lead to the closure of the government."

In addition to a 5% reduction in non-defense program ceilings for fiscal 2019, Trump's budget request is expected to forecast economic growth of 3.2% this year, up from 3.1% in 2020, 3% in 2021 and 2.8% in 2026, with 10-year forecasts. 3 percent.

The plan will also aim to balance the budget by 1534, by 15 years, rather than aligning spending with revenue over the typical 10-year period that was a goal for Republicans.

The budget request is expected to revive a partisan feud over financing a wall along the US-Mexico border. Although the administration has not specified the amount of money that the president will propose for this project, the demand should be large enough to elicit the same kind of reproach from congressional Democrats who led to the veto threat that led to the 35-day closure that began. just before Christmas last year.

Following this request, Trump will request $ 100 million from the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, her daughter and Councilor Ivanka, to help 50 million women in developing countries here. 2025 through aid programs and partnerships with private companies.

The president will ask Congress to fund a new space force within the Air Force, a project that will cost $ 72 million over the 2020 fiscal year with a head office of 200 people and eventually reach about 900 people for a cost about $ 500 million a year.

In the plan, the Trump administration will detail reforms aimed at eliminating duplication and increasing the efficiency of federal agencies.

When the president submits his annual budget request to Capitol Hill, lawmakers love the reply: "The president proposes, the Congress disposes." Expenditure officials are already taking the plan for this year less seriously than the old wish lists. Presidents.

"This one is frankly less realistic than most presidential budgets," said Cole, calling the project a "gadget" to circumvent budget cuts by trying to place contingencies in the Overseas Operations Fund. an amount of $ 174 billion, which does not count the caps. "That's good, but Congress will not accept it."

Senate Supply Committee Chair Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Said last week that it would be difficult for Congress to find a consensus to cut non-defense programs by 5%. as the president wishes. "Besides, you have the House too. You have a third stage of politics, "said Shelby.

Congress has less than seven months to pass spending bills to fund the government in fiscal year 2020, starting October 1. A comprehensive agreement on the limits of defense funding and other funds is the first step in this process. From there, spending officials can allocate their boundaries between the 12 annual spending bills and then between each federal department, agency, and program.

"We have to find a number," said Shelby. "In the end, when we're preparing a bill, we have to accept some numbers."

White House Budget Director Russell Vought has already indicated that the Trump administration could oppose any congressional agreement to increase budget ceilings, citing unsustainable "borrowing" levels. In an editorial last month. And it would not be out of the question for Trump to finally veto such an agreement if congressional leaders settled his demands.

Budget House Speaker John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), However, insists that there is already a bipartite agreement on raising ceilings for defense spending and other spending. Democrats will at least seek to raise ceilings equally for non-defense and military-related programs, he said, while seeking to invest more in areas such as defense and defense. education and health care.

"There is a bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill that we need to raise the ceilings for discretionary non-defense and defense spending … The administration's plan to delay is a complete disregard for responsible governance, "said Yarmuth in a statement.

The Trump Administration's renewed focus on fiscal responsibility comes after two years of ignoring a record deficit and ensuring that the tax reform has contributed to a federal debt of more than $ 22 trillion.

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