Society

Trump's First Budget Proposal Offers Steep Agency Cuts

| by Oren Peleg

President Donald Trump has unveiled the first budget outline of his administration. The proposed budget includes $54 billion in cuts to various government agencies.

“You can’t drain the swamp and leave all of the people in it,” Mike Mulvaney, the White House budget director said of the proposal, referring to the Trump campaign's pledge to "drain the swamp" of Washington, D.C.

According to CNN, the budget would eliminate funding completely to several programs aimed at the arts and development, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Several government agencies would also see steep budget cuts under the proposal.

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“We went to what the president said during the campaign and we turned those policies into numbers,” Mulvaney continued, notes The New York Times.

According to CNN, the State Department is set to see $11 billion in cuts, or 28.7 percent of its current budget. The Department of Health and Human Services, currently responsible for the Affordable Care Act, will see a $12.6 billion cut, or 16.2 percent decrease in its budget. The proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency are $2.6 billion, or 31.4 percent of its current budget. The Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, Transportation, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, and Education will all see multi-billion dollar cuts, resulting in double-digit percentage cuts to their budgets.

Beyond departments, several governmental programs would also see sharp cuts. FEMA is set to have its state and local grants cut by $667 million. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will see $250 million in budget cuts. And Amtrak and the Clean Power Plan will also see complete elimination of portions of the budgets.

"This budget shifts the burden off of the wealthy and special interests and puts it squarely on the backs of the middle class and those struggling to get there," said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the top-ranking Democrat in the federal government, reports USA Today.

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Meanwhile, Republican Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin signaled a willingness to work with the proposal.

"We are determined to work with the administration to shrink the size of government, grow our economy, secure our borders, and ensure our troops have the tools necessary to complete their missions," Ryan said. "I look forward to reviewing this with the Appropriations Committee and our entire conference.”

Sources: CNN, The New York Times, USA Today / Photo credit: Donald Trump/Instagram 

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