The budget would shift the American diplomatic posture around the world
The plan guarantees a fight that will test the White House's capacity to corral lawmakers
An early glimpse at President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal offers the clearest blueprint yet of how he plans to remake the nation.
The plan envisages a 10% hike in military spending to be paid for by sharp cuts in other government departments, with the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency each bracing for a particularly painful hit.
If enacted, the plan would involve a radical domestic reshaping of the federal government paired with a shift in the posture of American diplomacy around the world.
It is an approach that flows directly from the rhetoric and positions adopted by Trump on the campaign trail playing to his grass-roots supporters’ deep distrust of Washington and his “America First” political creed.
“This is a landmark event, a message to the world, in these dangerous times, of American strength, security and resolve,” Trump said Monday.
The budget plan comes at a time when the administration is making strenuous efforts to flesh out the ideological and political foundations on which the new GOP White House is built.
Top officials, including the President, previewed a strident change of political direction at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week, and Trump will intensify the effort with his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night – a crucial moment for the new administration.
But the controversial nature of Trump’s emerging budget – always a magnet for partisan opposition – guarantees a fight that will test the White House’s capacity to corral lawmakers and shape public opinion. It also demonstrates a desire to boost military might and de-emphasize diplomatic reductions that will reverberate in foreign capitals of friends and foes alike.
Already, a cadre of retired generals and admirals has warned that cutting State Department funding on diplomacy and development would make America less safe.
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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Democrats say they will use every tool at their disposal, which includes the power of the filibuster in the Senate, to block Trump’s plans. The President could also face resistance from Republican budget hawks in Congress.