U.S. President Donald Trump proposed Monday a $4.8 trillion budget that envisions major cuts to domestic and social safety net programs while continuing to pour more money into the Defense Department.
While proposing major cuts to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, it also seeks to reduce the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by over 26% in the 2021 fiscal year and further slashes the Health and Human Services budget by 9%.
The Pentagon's budget meanwhile gets an $800 million increase from 2020 levels in Trump's plan, and his oft-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall would be allotted some $2 billion -- down from the $8 billion he unsuccessfully sought last year. Trump had promised to have Mexico pay for the barrier's construction, but the U.S. neighbor has steadfastly rejected the idea.
"There is optimism that was not here before 63 million Americans asked me to work for them and drain the swamp. For decades, Washington elites told us that Americans had no choice but to accept stagnation, decay, and decline," Trump said in a message accompanying his 138-page budget.
"We proved them wrong. Our economy is strong once more, and America’s role as leader of the Free World has been restored," he added.
But Trump's budget is a mere proposal put out as a reflection of his administration's spending priorities. It is all but certain to be a far cry from the one approved by Congress where Democrats are in firm control of the House of Representatives and where all House lawmakers and one-third of senators will be up for re-election this year.
Democrats seeking to oust Trump from office in November's presidential race are highly likely to seize upon the document on the campaign trail.
The federal debt has climbed some $3 trillion since Trump assumed office in 2017.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington