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Trump Will Seek $54 Billion Increase In Defense Spending

President Donald Trump is slated to instruct federal agencies to create a 2018 budget proposal that will increase defense spending by $54 billion. The budget proposal will also call for reductions of the same amount from other federal agencies in order to avoid any cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

On Feb. 27, the Trump administration will propose increasing the defense budget by 10 percent with an influx of $54 billion. The increase would bolster the 2018 defense budget to an overall $603 billion.

The Trump administration will submit its 2018 budget outline to federal agencies. The proposal will call for cuts across all non-defense agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, The New York Times reports.

The budget plan was created jointly by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon.

Previewing the budget sketch earlier that day, Trump stated that his administration's aim was to build up U.S. defense capabilities during the fiscal year of 2018.

"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget," Trump said, according to Fox News. The president asserted that the $54 billion for defense spending would be a "historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military."

Based on details offered by Trump administration officials, the 2018 budget sketch would not call for significant changes to major entitlements but would call for major cuts to other social safety net programs, as well as a significant reduction in foreign aid, The Washington Post reports.

Mulvaney is expected to submit an official 2018 budget request to Congress in March. Historically, a White House budget proposal has been subject to changes: federal agencies will have the ability to argue against cuts into their budget while Congress will have to ultimately approve of any proposal.

The House Speaker, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has previously signaled that he would lay out his own budget proposal in July.

Before the Trump administration's proposal to add $54 billion to defense spending could be implemented, Congress would need to vote in favor of raising the statutory caps set on defense spending set in 2011 by the Budget Control Act.

OMB spokesman John Czwartacki issued a statement confirming the Trump administration's plans to significantly increase defense spending while conversely cutting the budget for other departments.

"The president and his Cabinet are working collaboratively to create a budget that keeps the president's promises to secure the country and restore fiscal sanity to how we spend American taxpayers' money," Czwartacki said.

The combination of increasing defense spending while leaving major entitlements untouched could increase the federal deficit, signaling that the Trump White House could meet resistance from fiscal hawks in the GOP-majority Congress.

Sources: Fox News, The New York TimesThe Washington Post / Photo Credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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