Wednesday, 22 May, 2019


Trump wants spending cuts and $8.6bn for his border wall

Trump wants spending cuts and $8.6bn for his border wall Trump wants spending cuts and $8.6bn for his border wall
Conrad Doyle | 11 March, 2019, 15:55

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow conceded that the new request would likely mean a renewed fight in Congress over wall funding.

Some programs will be targeted for cancellation altogether to push total non-defence discretionary spending below a cap of $542 billion established in a 2011 fiscal restraint law, an administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In an interview on Sunday, Kudlow said a sweeping trade agreement with China could be finalized by April.

"We have a crisis down there", he said. "I think the president has made that case very effectively".

The proposal comes on the heels of a bruising battle with Congress over wall funding that resulted in a five-week partial federal government shutdown that ended in January, and could touch off a sequel just ahead of a trifecta of ominous fiscal deadlines looming this fall. They said lawmakers were prepared to block his demand this time as well. "The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again".

'We hope they have an interest in maintaining and getting rid of the deficit, ' Vought said on CNBC.

Trump's budget would propose $2.7 trillion in spending cuts over a decade - but even that would not be enough to balance the budget. At the same time, Trump will seek to dramatically boost the military's budget from $716 billion to $750 billion next year. Eventually, Trump relented and reopened the government.

Trump invoked the emergency declaration after Congress approved almost $1.4 billion for border barriers, far less than the $5.7 billion he wanted.

In seeking $8.6 billion for more than 300 miles of new border wall, the budget request would more than double the $8.1 billion already potentially available to the president for the wall after he declared a national emergency at the border last month in order to circumvent Congress - although there's no guarantee he'll be able to use that money if he faces a legal challenge, as is expected.

Many lawmakers accused Trump of overstepping his constitutional powers by declaring an emergency to free up the funds.

The Senate, narrowly controlled by Republicans, is to vote on the same resolution this week. Other proposals include a request for Congress to make projections indicating that the budget would be balanced by 2034, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

Tax cuts have been a priority for the Republican White House and Congress in recent years, rather than deficit reduction. They also must pass a measure to raise the debt ceiling in September or October or they will risk having the government falling behind on its obligations, something that could rattle the economy and financial markets.

Trump in December demanded $5.7 billion to help fund massive wall construction along the U.S. -Mexico border.

In February, Trump declared a national emergency at the border, a maneuver that the White House claims would allow him to divert funds from other agencies.

Instead of building a wall, Pelosi and Schumer suggested Trump begin "rebuilding America".

Whilst electioneering Trump repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for the wall.

"It will be a tough budget", Mr. Kudlow said.

Trump has long touted his border wall project as a staple of his presidency.

Medicaid is a health-care program for low-income and disabled Americans, run jointly by states and the federal government.

But the Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, called the proposed cuts to essential services "dangerous". The OMB said the budget was created to balance by 2034, exceeding the traditional 10-year budget outlook.

Nearly all of the proposals would require congressional approval, and lawmakers have dismissed cuts of similar size in Trump's past budgets.

The annual budget proposal will set up a clash with the Democrats, who have a majority in the House of Representatives and are certain to set out alternative spending plans.

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