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Trump's budget boosts defense spending and includes $2.6 billion for the wall


Trump's budget is out tomorrow with more military spending and cuts to pay for it

WATCH | Trump's budget is expected to see big increases to defense spending and big cuts to the State Department.

UPDATE 11:55 a.m. EST:

Trump touted his budget.

UPDATE 7:50 a.m. EST:

President Trump's budget outline has been revealed. It includes the promised $54 billion increase in defense spending, plus massive cuts to the State Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

It also includes a $2.6 billion investment for the border wall. Politico reports a supplemental spending bill will supply an additional $1.5 billion. 

There is no question that this is a hard power budget ... That was done very intentionally.
Mick Mulvaney

The budget demands a 28 percent cut to the State Department budget, which Mulvaney called "fairly dramatic." The EPA faces a budget cut of up to 31 percent, The Hill reports.  The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities may lose all of its funding. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security will get $1.5 billion to boost cybersecurity.

If he said it in the campaign, it's in the budget.
Mick Mulvaney

Mulvaney said Trump's campaign rhetoric was critical to producing the budget.

He stressed that the Thursday release was just a "blueprint," with a full budget coming in May that would include Trump's plans for Medicare and Social Security.

ORIGINAL STORY: President Donald Trump is unveiling his "America First" budget today.

The OMB (Office of Management and Budget) is responsible for putting the budget together. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters they "wrote it using the President's own words."

"We went through his speeches, we went through articles that have been written about his policies, we talked to him... and we turned those policies into numbers," he added. The budget will not increase the budget, but it does not balance.

"There will be more money on defense --  $54 billion," Mulvaney said when talking about Trump's spending priorities. "There's more money for enforcing security at the border. There's more money for enforcing laws on the books just generally. There's more money for things like private and public school choice."

The budget includes cuts as well. "Without adding to the already projected $488 billion deficit in fiscal year 2018, there were reductions elsewhere to offset, dollar for dollar, all of those increases," Mulvaney added.

"We're talking reductions in the State Department," Mulvaney explained. "You'll see reductions in the EPA. In fact, you will see reductions in many agencies as he tries to shrink the role of government, drive out inefficiencies, go after waste, duplicitous programs, those types of things. If he said it on the campaign, it's in the budget." 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will also see a reduced budget as well as funding for public broadcasting and NASA.

On the increases in the defense budget, Mulvaney stressed that he worked in consultation with the Department of Defense to make sure they were not allocated more than they need and can spend effectively. The defense budget will increase by 10 percent, and the budget for homeland security will increase by 6 percent, according to Mulvaney.  There also is funding in the budget for the border wall. It will not fund the entire wall, but the $1.5 billion request will allow for the government to begin pilot programs for construction that test things like using various materials.

Most of the cuts to the State Department, on the other hand, come out of U.S. foreign aid. According to Mulvaney, the State Department will see its budget reduced by 28 percent. "The President ran saying he would spend less money overseas and more money back home. So when you go to implement that policy, you go to things like foreign aid, and those get reduced."

The budget does not touch mandatory spending and does not include line-by-line details of what different agencies will cut. Where to cut exactly is left up to the department secretaries.

The fiscal year 2017 budget will also be released tomorrow. Last year Congress passed a continuing resolution that expires April 28, meaning it must pass a new spending bill for the duration of this fiscal year. There will also be a supplemental budget request to increase defense and border spending by $30 billion.

It's important to remember, however, that presidential budget requests usually aren't enacted by Congress without substantial changes. But the Presidential budget is seen as a starting point for the long budgeting process. 

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