Of the 15 Cabinet agencies listed in President Trump’s “America First” budget blueprint, only a sliver are seeing any increases over their 2017 levels – but the increases are generous.
Three agencies – Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security – account for the entirety of the budget hikes, amounting to a whopping $59.5 billion.
The other 12 agencies, meanwhile, face cuts worth about $57.3 billion, combined. Here’s a breakdown of all the “winners” and “losers” in Trump’s inaugural budget outline:
INCREASE: $52.3 billion, 10 percent
The $639 billion defense proposal should go over well with hawks such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who notably advocated for a $640 billion budget. The huge increase restores $52 billion to the Department of Defense and $2 billion more to other defense programs “in a repeal of defense sequestration.” Cyber security is significantly highlighted as a key area to improve as the U.S. builds a “more lethal joint force.” The budget also funds efforts “to strike ISIS targets, support our partners…disrupt ISIS’ external operations, and cut off its financing.” (Yes, the “ISIL” acronym is now officially replaced by “ISIS.”) The defense windfall also addresses warfighting readiness and shortfalls in munitions, personnel and maintenance.
INCREASE: $4.4 billion, 5.9 percent
Representing a key area where then-presidential candidate Trump promised investment, the budget increases discretionary funding for VA health care by $4.6 billion while also investing in IT advancements to improve efficiency. It also provides monetary support for VA programs that serve homeless and at-risk veterans.
INCREASE: $2.8 billion, 6.8 percent
This portion of the budget is almost all about Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” on the Mexican border and other border enforcement priorities. It gives $2.6 billion for “high-priority infrastructure and border security technology” including funding to construct a “physical” border wall. The budget supplies $314 million to recruit, hire and train 500 new Border Patrol Agents and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel and support staff. About $1.5 billion is provided for expanded detention and removal of illegal immigrants, while $15 million is set to go to mandatory nationwide implementation of the E-Verify system. Cuts include $667 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency programs that weren’t authorized by Congress and underperforming Transportation Security Administration programs.