Winners and losers in Trump's budget
Deep cuts proposed to State Department, Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. President Donald Trump laid out a plan Thursday to pay for the U.S.-Mexico border wall and to increase defence spending in his $1.15 trillion budget, which also proposed deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department.
The budget, titled "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again," kept many of the promises Trump made on the campaign trail including beefing up military resources and securing U.S. borders.
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"In these dangerous times, this public safety and national security Budget Blueprint is a message to the world — a message of American strength, security, and resolve," Trump said in the budget, which represents the discretionary portion of the budget passed by Congress. The larger budget, which includes taxes, social security and medicare, will be revealed in mid-May.
The Defence Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs were the only agencies to see proposed increases. All of the other agencies saw substantial cuts. The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, saw a 31 per cent proposed decrease in funding and the State Department a 29 per cent cut.
In total, the budget would cut 1.2 per cent in discretionary spending overall.
Some smaller groups, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, saw their funding cut completely.
Here's a look at a few of the big winners and losers in the plan.
Health and Human Services
The National Institutes of Health, the nation's flagship medical research agency, sees a substantial cut of $5.8 billion, representing about 19 per cent of its budget. The blueprint calls for a "major reorganization" of the department and reduces its administrative costs.
The budget also slashes $4.2 billion in community programs including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Services Block Grant.
An estimated $500 million would fund opioid prevention and boost access to treatment services.
Environmental Protection Agency
Former president Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which sought to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, will see its funding discontinued in the new plan, as will climate change research projects. The budget projects these cuts will create savings of over $100 million.
Also on the chopping block: more than 50 EPA programs such as Energy Star and regional programs such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. More than 3,000 EPA workers would lose their jobs, according to calculations by The Associated Press.
EPA grants for drinking and wastewater projects would be maintained.
The Trump budget makes significant cuts to diplomacy efforts. All climate change programs to which the U.S. had committed at the United Nations would be cut. The budget also suggested it would decrease its contribution to the UN budget, though it didn't specify how much. The U.S. currently contributes $5.4 billion to the intergovernmental organization.
Peacekeeping contributions would be scaled down. About $650 million over three years would be cut from banking organizations including the World Bank.
Funding for job training programs for seniors, the unemployed and disadvantaged youth is slashed while state-run apprenticeship programs receive a boost.
The budget also slashes funding for occupational safety and health training grants — a cut the budget estimates will yield $11 million in savings.
The budget earmarks $1.4 billion in the current fiscal year and another $2.6 billion in the next for the planning, design and construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, an oft-cited pledge made by Trump. The budget says this investment will help stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs across the southern border.
Trump earlier pledged that Mexico would pay for the wall, an assertion Mexico rejected.
The budget also calls for 500 new border patrol agents and 1,000 new immigration and customs agents. Another $1.5 billion will be used for the detention, transportation and removal of illegal immigrants.
The budget increases resources for Veterans Affairs to improve access to doctors and support services.
The plan also sees the Veterans Choice Program, which allows patients to seek treatment in their communities instead of at a Veterans Affairs facility, extended beyond its August 2017 expiry.
Department of Defence
The budget identifies the threat of ISIS as the key motivation in bulking up resources for this department. The Trump administration boasts that its defence increase is among the largest ever recorded in U.S. history.
"This increase alone exceeds the entire defense budget of most countries, and would be one of the largest one-year DOD increases in American history," the budget says.
Trump calls for the modernization of the Armed Forces, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. Specifically, the budget suggests investing in new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to protect against extremist threats.
With files from The Associated Press, Reuters