U.S. President Donald Trump presented to Congress on Monday a budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 that contained stiff spending cuts across non-defense federal agencies, and a hike in defense money.
According to the 4.7-trillion-U.S.-dollar budget proposal, the Trump administration plans to cut domestic spending by 5 percent over the next year, or a nearly 30-billion-dollar reduction, involving programs on education, health care and environment protections, among others.
The budget blueprint, designed for fiscal year 2020 that starts on Oct. 1, proposes 2.7-trillion-dollar spending cuts over the next decade, including 1.9 trillion dollars in cuts to mandatory programs, a senior administration official told a briefing Monday.
The official said the budget "will have more reductions in spending than any president in history has ever proposed."
The budget plan foresees a 1.1-trillion-dollar deficit in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and a 1-trillion-dollar deficit in 2022. The Trump administration predicts that the United States will return to budget balance in 2034.
In addition, the U.S. national debt has exceeded 22 trillion dollars, according to the budget document, which said "Washington must fix its longtime spending problem."
The White House projected that the government will pay 482 billion dollars on interest payments for the debt next year. "If nothing is done, interest payments alone on the Federal Government's debt will double by 2023 and exceed spending on the U.S. military by 2024," the budget document asserted.
The budget roadmap would increase defense spending by nearly 5 percent to 750 billion dollars from 716 billion in fiscal year 2019.
It also seeks 8.6 billion dollars for constructing additional sections of a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico -- 5 billion dollars in funding for the Department of Homeland Security and 3.6 billion dollars for the Department of Defense's military construction funds.
The administration official said the White House believes it is important to engage the appropriators in the national defense authorization process in a transparent manner, and "to be able to transparently put forward money that we would anticipate being drawn down from military construction accounts."
Other highlights of the budget proposal include making the Republican tax cuts permanent, and a 200-billion-dollar funding for infrastructure that, according to the official, involves not only surface transportation but also broadband.
The budget also requests 6.1 billion dollars for the Environmental Protection Agency, down 2.8 billion dollars, or 31 percent, from the estimate for fiscal year 2019. The administration official said that "6 billion dollars at a time of 1-trillion-dollar deficit is something that is affordable for the country."
The Trump administration will provide a federal tax credit of up to 50 billion dollars over 10 years for donations to scholarship programs elementary and secondary students seeking state-level public or private education. It is part of the "school choice initiative."
The budget proposes a welfare reform setting more stringent work requirements for working-age individuals, a move the administration said would save 327 billion dollars.