Monday, February 27, 2017
Everybody loves Defense spending
At least everyone who has a defense plant or two in his state or district. The rest of us who will have to pay for the totally unnecessary spending proposed by President Beetlefart may not be as filled with adoration for his hairball idea.
A day before delivering a high-stakes address on Tuesday to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Trump will demand a budget with tens of billions of dollars in reductions to the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department, according to four senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the plan. Social safety net programs, aside from the big entitlement programs for retirees, would also be hit hard.Like kids let loose in a candy store, there is no saying what will happen between now and the final passage of the budget. Just cross your fingers and pray to your sky demon for the best result.
Preliminary budget outlines are usually little-noticed administrative exercises, the first step in negotiations between the White House and federal agencies that usually shave the sharpest edges off the initial request.
The budget plan, a numerical sketch that will probably be substantially altered by House and Senate Republicans — and vociferously opposed by congressional Democrats — will be Mr. Trump’s first big step into a legislative fray he has largely avoided during the first 40 days of his administration.
Thus far, instead of legislating, he has focused on a succession of executive orders on immigration and deregulation written by Mr. Bannon’s small West Wing team.
Resistance from federal agencies could ease some of the deepest cuts in the initial plan before a final budget request is even sent to Congress. And Capitol Hill will have the last word.
To meet Mr. Trump’s defense request, lawmakers in both parties would have to agree to raise or end statutory spending caps on defense and domestic programs that were imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.
Mr. Trump is in a highly unusual position at a time when most presidents are finding their footing or confronting crisis. Despite his lament that he was handed “a mess” by President Barack Obama, Mr. Trump inherited a low unemployment rate, a lack of international crises requiring immediate attention and majorities in both houses of Congress.
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