Military wins in first Trump budget


President Donald Trump will ask the US Congress for dramatic cuts to many federal programs as he seeks to bulk up defense spending, start building a wall on the border with Mexico and spend more money deporting illegal immigrants.

In a federal budget proposal with many losers, the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department stand out as targets for the biggest spending reductions.

Funding would disappear altogether for 19 independent bodies that count on federal money for public broadcasting, the arts and regional issues from Alaska to Appalachia.

Trump’s budget outline is a bare-bones plan covering just “discretionary” spending for the 2018 fiscal year starting on October 1. It is the first volley in what is expected to be an intense battle over spending in coming months in Congress, which holds the federal purse strings and seldom approves presidents’ budget plans.

Congress, controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, may reject some or many of his proposed cuts. Some of the proposed changes, which Democrats will broadly oppose, have been targeted for decades by conservative Republicans.

Moderate Republicans have already expressed unease with potential cuts to popular domestic programs such as home-heating subsidies, clean-water projects and job training.

Trump wants to spend $US54 billion ($A70 billion) more on defense, put a down payment on his border wall, and breathe life into a few other campaign promises. His initial budget outline does not incorporate his promise to pour $US1 ($A1.3) trillion into roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure projects. The White House has said the infrastructure plan is still to come.

The defense increases are matched by cuts to other programs so as to not increase the $US488 billion ($A635 billion) federal deficit. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has acknowledged the proposal would likely result in significant cuts to the federal workforce.

Originally published as Military wins in first Trump budget



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