Trump seeks $4.4T budget that would soar deficits

Trump seeks $4.4T budget that would soar deficits

Budget includes major boost to military spending while slashing domestic programs

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - President Donald Trump sent Congress a $4.4 trillion budget Monday that is sure to set off fiscal hawks after last year's tax overhauls slashed federal revenues.

The decreased financial inflows mean the federal deficit for the 2019 fiscal year would sit around $1 trillion -- double what was projected before the tax overhaul marshaled by Trump went into effect. The shortfall would soar to about $7.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

Trump's spending priorities expectedly emphasize the military while cutting domestic spending. But following last week's budget deal to end a second government shutdown in a month, Trump's planned cuts to domestic spending are dead on arrival.

Last week's $400 billion budget deal increases spending caps for the military and domestic programs by $300 billion.

Lawmakers approved the bipartisan spending legislation that will extend funding for the government through March 23 and boost disaster aid funding by around $90 billion for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico after they were battered by hurricanes last year.

Part of Trump's spending plan includes a much-needed plan to fix America's ailing infrastructure. It seeks $1.5 trillion in investment over the next decade, relying heavily on non-federal actors.

"Our Nation’s infrastructure is in an unacceptable state of disrepair, which damages our country’s competitiveness and our citizens’ quality of life," Trump said in a message to Congress.

"For too long, lawmakers have invested in infrastructure inefficiently, ignored critical needs, and allowed it to deteriorate. As a result, the United States has fallen further and further behind other countries. It is time to give Americans the working, modern infrastructure they deserve," he added.

The plan envisions the vast majority of the funding coming from state and local governments as well as the private sector. Only about $200 billion would be direct federal spending.

Trump's budget also seeks to eliminate and replace former President Barack Obama's universal health care law through a variety of measures, notably through cuts to the Medicaid health program for the elderly and poor that Obama greatly expanded.

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