The White House is proposing $540 billion in non-defense spending for 2019 — $57 billion below the new spending cap set by Congress.
Mr. Mulvaney, in his letter, said spending at the levels Congress authorized would add too much to the federal deficit. “We believe that this level responsibly accounts for the cap deal while taking into account the current fiscal situation,” he wrote.
Despite that approach, the budget proposal would add $984 billion to the federal deficit next year and would continue adding $7 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years.
Mr. Trump, who once proclaimed himself the “king of debt,” also calls for $200 billion over the next decade in new spending to improve the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
Presidential budgets are little more than vision statements even under normal circumstances, given that Congress controls the federal purse strings and may disregard the wishes of whomever is sitting in the Oval Office.
That is even more true this year, after congressional leaders in both parties essentially went around Mr. Trump to strike their own budget deal that bore little resemblance to the one he was drawing up. Lawmakers spread federal dollars around in the kind of legislative horse trading that the president has often decried as a symptom of “the swamp.”
Mr. Trump’s plan includes a request for $85.5 billion in discretionary funding for veterans’ medical care and $13 billion in new spending to tackle opioid abuse through prevention, treatment and recovery support services as well as mental health programs.
Mr. Trump’s second federal spending plan also proposes steep cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, despite Congress’ rejection of a similar plan last year to dramatically shrink the agency’s budget.
The fiscal 2019 budget blueprint would pare the E.P.A. by $2.8 billion or 34 percent from its current level, while eliminating virtually all climate change-related programs. It also would cut the agency’s Office of Science and Technology nearly in half, to $489 million from its current $762 million.
In outlining the budget, the administration said E.P.A. is refocusing on what it called “core activities” and eliminating “lower priority programs.” That list includes a program to promote partnerships with the private sector to tackle climate change; environmental education training; and an effort to protect marine estuaries.
The White House estimated cutting those programs and others will save taxpayers $600 million compared to 2017 levels.
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