President Trump’s federal budget proposal reportedly includes a $54 billion increase in defense spending, while cutting other federal agencies by the same amount. Trump calls the 10% hike in the military budget “historic”. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) is not opposed to the defense increase, but she wants more information about the proposed reductions.
“What agencies are those? It certainly shouldn’t be veterans. It certainly shouldn’t be Homeland Security,” says McCaskill.
To give you an idea, McCaskill says the entire foreign aid budget is $36 billion and 10% is for Israel.
“The IRS has been cut and cut and cut. It’s down to $12 billion. The Commerce Department is $9.2 billion. EPA is like $8 billion,” says McCaskill. “So, you would really have to do draconian cuts.”
Trump administration officials have reportedly promised that programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will remain untouched, but cuts could be likely to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Legal Services Corporation.
McCaskill is concerned about how the federal budget will affect Missouri.
“A huge part of Missouri’s budget is federal pass through dollars. That means less money coming to Missouri,” says McCaskill. “So it’s going to put a lot more pressure on state governments to provide the services that they are currently providing.”
According to McCaskill’s office, Trump’s budget summary is expected around mid-March and a full proposal in May.
For the first time, Trump will address Congress in a joint session tonight.