President Trump released his discretionary spending budget Thursday morning, better known as The America First Budget. It totals $1.1. trillion and significantly increases defense spending, which is offset by cuts in a number of government agencies.
"I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed appropriations request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The request includes an additional $30 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces and accelerate the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and an additional $3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for urgent border protection activities," Trump sent in his budget request to House Speaker Paul Ryan Thursday. "In conjunction with this request, I recommend that the Congress enact non-defense discretionary reductions of $18 billion in FY 2017, which would fully offset the amounts proposed for DHS and would offset half of the amounts proposed for DOD."
Speaking from the White House briefing room Thursday, Office of Budget and Management Director Mich Mulvaney defended President Trump's budget priorities and answered questions from reporters.
"The President is absolutely going to keep his promises made on the campaign trail," Mulvaney said. "Keep in mind the president is in a unique position. I've been a member of Congress. I represented 700,000 people in South Carolina and I had my constituency as a district. Senators represent an entire state. We're always dealing with special interests from back home, we're dealing with lobbyists from back home. The President is beholden to none of that. The President has drafted a budget for the entire nation because that's who he sees himself as representing."
"He did not ask lobbyists for input on this. He did not ask special interests for input on this and he certainly didn't focus on how these programs might impact a specific congressional district but we know that going into it. The message we're sending to the Hill is, we want more money for the things the President talked about, defense being the top one, national security and we don't want to add to the budget deficit," Mulvaney continued.
The President is expected to release his full budget by the end of the month.