President Donald Trump released Thursday an outline for his $1.1 trillion fiscal 2018 budget proposal that backs some of his campaign promises, including increased funds for defense and cuts for environmental spending.
The 53-page document, labeled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” requests $639 billion for the Department of Defense, a $54 million increase from the current budget; $44 billion for Homeland Security, a nearly $3 billion increase; and $79 billion for Veterans Affairs, a $4 billion increase.
The defense spending would create cuts in federal agencies such as nearly $3 billion, or 31 percent decrease for the Environmental Protection Agency programs that include Chesapeake Bay restoration in Maryland; $10 billion, or 28 percent decrease, from the State Department and $6 billion, or 13 percent decrease, from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“This budget blueprint follows through on my promise to focus on keeping Americans safe, keeping terrorists out of our country and putting violent offenders behind bars,” Trump wrote in the document. “These cuts are sensible and rational. Every agency and department will be driven to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending in carrying out their honorable service to the American people.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) criticized Trump’s budget proposal for cutting programs that help the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt and threatening funding for the ongoing Purple Line light-rail project in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.
“Simply put, the president’s budget proposal is dangerous for Marylanders,” Hoyer said in a issued statement. “I urge members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to reject the president’s radical proposal and work together on a budget that addresses the needs of our country in a responsible manner.”
Jamie Contreras, vice president of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union that represents immigrant workers with an office in northwest D.C., also ripped the proposal.
“This is the budget of an administration at war with reality that only serves the needs of the already wealthy and powerful,” he said. “For Trump and his team of cronies, the message to America is: you are on your own.”