The Pentagon wins and diplomacy loses in Trump's 'hard power' budget

The Trump administration is proposing dramatic cuts to the State Department as part of a budget blueprint that would ramp up defense spending and commit more than $4 billion for construction of a border wall with Mexico, setting up a battle with Democrats and potentially even fellow Republicans over government spending priorities.

In addition to a 28% reduction in the State Department’s budget, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and other agencies could also see double-digit percentage reductions in their funding under the administration’s plan, aides said Wednesday in previewing the budget.

President Trump’s budget reflects the realization of many promises that he made to voters in the campaign, seeking to add $54 billion to the Pentagon’s budget to be offset by cuts elsewhere, beginning with U.S. foreign aid. The government allocated about $28 billion for foreign aid and humanitarian assistance in the current fiscal year.

The spending plan seeks to slash even modest federal outlays, beginning the process of eliminating all funding to the Corp. for Public Broadcasting, for instance.

“You had an ‘America first’ candidate, you have an ‘America first’ budget,” said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget and a conservative former congressman from South Carolina. “We went looking for the most inefficient, most wasteful, most indefensible programs.”

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