Trump’s 2019 budget calls for infrastructure, border wall, opioid funding

Trump's 2019 budget calls for infrastructure, border wall, opioid funding
UPI

Feb. 12 (UPI) — The 2019 budget released by the White House Monday calls for more military spending, funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and cuts to social programs.

The 160-page budget projects a gap between tax revenue and spending amounting to at least $7 trillion by 2026. Largely because of the tax cut, $2 trillion of additional debt is anticipated for 2019 and 2020 alone. Last year, the White House projected a budget surplus of $16 billion could be reached by 2027.

Monday’s budget projects the federal budget deficit will not be eliminated after 10 years.

The budget projects a tax receipt shortfall of $314 billion in 2018, and a $400 billion deficit in 2019. The figures could be even more severe if the plan to remove $554 billion from Medicare spending over 10 years is not approved by a Congress.

The budget also projects a $47 billion savings over 10 years, as Medicare recipients pay for a higher percentage of their medication. It calls for a $214 billion cut from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan, and a reorganization of government which potentially eliminate duplicating programs.

A short time earlier, the White House also revealed its long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, which will now be sent to Congress.

The proposal seeks to repair and replace U.S. highways, bridges and airports by committing $200 billion in federal funding during the next decade. Grants to secure local and private funding account for $100 billion of the plan. Another $50 billion will go toward rural needs, to be determined by each state, and $20 billion is reserved for what the plan calls “technical assistance for bold, innovative, and transformative infrastructure projects that could dramatically improve infrastructure.”

It does not specify the nature of the projects eligible for funding.

“We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land. And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit,” Trump said.

Much of the $200 billion will be found in cuts to federal transit programs and to the Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program, which offers funding based on the needs of applying communities.

Trump’s budget includes $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement — including the construction of a wall — and $17 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.

Congress now must approve the president’s budget plan, where it is expected to find some resistance. Since 60 Senate votes will be required for approval, the budget will need some Democratic support.

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