WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday Director Mick Mulvaney of the Office of Management and Budget gave some insight into the shift in department funding of President Donald Trump’s “America First Budget” ahead of its Thursday release.
“This is the America First Budget,” Mulvaney told reporters at a White House briefing. “In fact we 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 wanted to know what his policies were and we turned those policies into numbers.”
Mulvaney said increases like the $54 billion increase to the Defense Department would be offset in other areas of the budget blueprint to prevent any further increases in the budget deficit. The Director made clear that this does not mean that the budget is balanced.
“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 State Department and and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will also see cuts according to Mulvaney. He went on to say that reductions in the State Department were not a reflection of the President’s support, but rather that areas like foreign aid that face cuts, simply fall under the State Department portion of the budget. The State Department reductions will be around 28 percent according to Mulvaney.
Mulvaney went on to state that the budget being released is not a full budget, but rather a blueprint and only deals with the portion of the budget that makes up discretionary spending. He said that those who oversee the various departments are being given great flexibility in managing funds within their own departments. He also stated that the core functions and beyond of the EPA can be satisfied with the dollars included in this budget.
Asked if the budget assumes passage of the House Republican Leadership’s American Health Care Act, Mulvaney said generally no, adding that will be dealt with in a budget to be released in May.
The budget to be released on Thursday morning will also show suggestion for ending funding for public broadcasting according to Mulvaney.
NASA will see a very slight reduction in funding around one percent, but Mulvaney was clear that some areas within that area of the budget will see increases. He said space exploration remains among the President’s priorities.
This budget will not be a line-by-line spreadsheet.
Mulvaney said that the budget will show money allocated for moving forward with building a wall along the U.S. southern border. He said that the budget in May will show more, but that this budget includes allocation for pilot cases to find most cost efficient, safest and most effective ways to complete the wall.
Director Mulvaney said that the budget will be available online starting at 7 a.m.
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