President Trump to ask for $54 billion increase in defense budget

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump’s upcoming budget will propose a whopping $54 billion increase in defense spending and impose corresponding cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid.

White House budget officials outlined the information during a telephone call with reporters given on condition of anonymity. The budget officials on the call ignored requests to put the briefing on the record, even though Trump decried on Friday the use of anonymous sources by the media.

Trump’s defense budget and spending levels for domestic agency operating budgets will be revealed in a partial submission to Congress next month, with proposals on taxes and other programs coming later.

The approximately 10 percent increase for the Pentagon would fulfill a Trump campaign promise to build up the military. One official said there will be a reduction in foreign aid and that most domestic agencies will face cuts.

President Donald Trump’s draft proposal for the 2018 budget year, which will be sent to agencies Monday, is sure to set off a huge Washington battle when it is finalized and submitted to Congress in mid-March. It’s expected to slash funding for longtime Republican targets like the Environmental Protection Agency.

Trump’s budget also won’t make significant changes to Social Security or Medicare, according to an administration official, but it will ask for a for $54B increase in defense budget.

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