Why presidential budget requests are usually dead on arrival, explained

Tuesday, 12 Mar, 2019

The current budget is more than $4.4 trillion, with a deficit of about $1 trillion expected, largely because of Trump's 2017 tax cuts. "They have little-to-no say in the courses they take".

These deficits will add to the existing $22 trillion debt and put further strain on the budget.

The budget proposal will be released on Monday, March 11, 2019.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement Sunday they hoped the president had "learned his lesson" from the shutdown, caused partly by Congress' refusal in December to pay $5 billion toward Trump's border wall.

Trump's budget is set to include requests to boosting funding for some domestic priorities, including programs to combat abuse of opioids and medical care for veterans.

Trump has long touted his border wall project as a staple of his presidency.

"It gives the president the ability to say he has fulfilled his commitment to gain operational control of the southwest border", an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said of the budget request.

Leading Democrats immediately rejected the proposal. They said the money "would be better spent on rebuilding America". Congress and the White House must agree on a new budget deal by the end of September.

The proposal is a steep ask from the president, whose previous request for $5.7 billion in border wall funding was denied by lawmakers and set off the longest government shutdown in USA history. The standoff over the wall led to a 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in USA history.

The White House will release Trump's budget the same week the Senate will likely vote to throw out his emergency declaration. The White House budget blueprint is sure to hit a wall of opposition from Democrats and encounter resistance from Republicans as well. If it passes, Trump is expected to veto the measure, and send it back to Congress where it does not appear to have sufficient backing to override a veto. That 15-year timeline breaks with Republican orthodoxy, as GOP lawmakers have pushed to eliminate the federal deficit within 10 years. He also said Mexico would pay for it, though the Mexican government has repeatedly refused to finance the project. He also wants an additional $8.6 billion for the U.S. -Mexico border wall. The chairman of the House Budget Committee, congressman John Yarmuth of Kentucky, calls the proposed cuts to essential services "dangerous". After Democrats waged a budget battle, Congress approved $1.375 billion in funding.

A senior administration official told reporters the budget would cut foreign aid by $13 billion. Vought has said it was part of plan to increase defense spending and cut the nondefense side of the budget.

To stay within the statutory budget caps, the budget funds national defense at the cap level, $576 billion, and shifts $164 billion of the defense spending to an overseas contingency operations, or OCO, fund, which some fiscal hawks will view as an accounting stunt. "We think it's important to continue to rebuild the military from the years of the Obama administration", Vought said.

Trump signed that budget deal, but the White House is signaling that it will not look favorably on a similar dollar-for-dollar increase this year.

The increasingly ambitious cuts to Medicare in the White House budget reflect the administration's narrowing budget math, as the federal deficit has continued to balloon under its watch.

While pushing down spending in some areas, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the proposal will seek to increase funding in others to align with the president's priorities, according to one official. Long-range plans for OCO show it as $156 billion in FY21, and then - after caps expire - $20 billion for the next two years, before it drops to $10 billion in 2024.