President Trump to target foreign aid, propose ‘historic’ defense spending increase in budget blueprint
Trump administration officials are previewing details of the president’s first budget blueprint that is expected to include a boost in defense spending offset by cutbacks to foreign aid and other "lower priority" programs.
Two Office of Management and Budget officials said in a conference call with reporters today that the "passback budget" being sent for Congress’ review will be seen as a “security budget,” with a proposed increase of $54 billion in defense spending.
The officials reiterated this was merely a “first draft” and shell of what the administration will send Congress in its formal budget request next month.
During a drop-by of the National Governors Association meeting today, President Trump said the budget will include "an historic increase in defense spending."
“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump said. “Very much based on those two with plenty of other things but very strong."
The two OMB officials, who were authorized by the White House to request anonymity in their briefing of reporters, did not say which departments would feel the brunt of these cuts, though they said “there will be a large reduction in foreign aid” in keeping with Trump’s campaign promises.
When it was pointed out by a reporter on the call that foreign aid amounts to less than 1 percent of spending by the U.S., the officials said the proposed reduction should still be praised for putting Americans first.
"This budget expects the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding in the past," one OMB official said.
The officials also did not specify what specifically the increase in defense spending would pay for, instead saying that the money would be sent to the Pentagon for them to allocate.
Trump also said in his remarks to the NGA that the budget includes an increase in “all spending for federal law enforcement.”