President Donald Trump proposed the highest budget in U.S. history Monday with a record $4.7 trillion request to Congress.
The budget cuts non-defense discretionary spending by five percent across the board and seeks to balance the federal budget within 15 years.
But while it seeks to cut other budgets by five percent, it boosts the Pentagon's budget to some $750 billion for the 2020 fiscal year -- an increase of $34 billion or five percent from the level set for the preceding fiscal year.
The U.S. deficit is set to hit more than $1.1 trillion by the 2020 fiscal year, which begins in October, and the White House sought to emphasize the proposal's benefits by saying it would create a balanced budget by 2034.
“We have a lot of debts as a country," Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought told reporters at the White House. "We’re trying to take it on head on. We’re trying to say that $22 trillion is not acceptable.”
He was referring to the $22 trillion of U.S. public debt.
Vought earlier Monday penned an op-ed on Fox News’s website in which he said "America’s return to prosperity is under attack," citing what he called "Washington’s spending addiction".
Trump's budget is merely a request to Congress, which has the authority to craft and approve federal budgets. The budget proposal is unlikely to be mirrored by the federal legislature.
One point sure to be thwarted in the legislative process is Trump's desire for some $8.6 billion for his U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The budget further envisions $40 billion for the State Department and USAID, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "upholds the President’s commitment to protect our country and put American interests first".
The budget, Pompeo said, "prioritizes protecting our diplomats and our borders, recruiting and developing our 21st Century workforce, and continuing to modernize our IT infrastructure."
By Michael Hernandez in Washington