White House budget proposal lands and promises many congressional battles ahead

Trump to seek another US$8.6b for border wall

Trump Plan Postpones Balanced Budget Despite Deep Spending Cuts

Some economists, though, say the bump from the tax cuts is waning, and they project slower growth in coming years.

The Democratic chair of the House budget committee, John Yarmuth of Kentucky, called proposed cuts to essential services "dangerous" and said Trump had already added almost $2tn to deficits with "tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price".

While the president's budget is unlikely to be implemented, the document does carry some weight as a signal of Trump's desires, including money to expand barriers along the US border with Mexico.

"I'd also counter the narrative that the [United States] president isn't interested in the New START", Thompson said when asked about concerns regarding Trump's commitment to the treaty. The $4.7 trillion funding plan cuts foreign aid and DC spending, and gives a boost to the military and border security, as well as to countering Russia's "influence".

The request, which is to be formally unveiled on Monday, would far exceed the US$5.7 billion Mr Trump demanded previous year, which led to an impasse that resulted in a 35-day partial shutdown of the USA government, the longest ever.

Through the national emergency, Trump can also tap an additional $3.6 billion from military accounts and shift it to building the wall.

"I suspect that's what's going to happen this time", said Howard Gleckman, a budget expert at the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think-tank. "I think it's exactly the right prescription", he said.

Top Democrats reacted swiftly to reports that Trump was seeking more money for the wall, reflecting how they are girding for the fight and believe that public sentiment is on their side.

The request is far more than the $1.4 billion Congress allocated for wall construction in January after a standoff between the president and Democrats, which led to a five-week partial government shutdown.

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Budget documents like the one Trump is releasing on Monday are often seen as just a starting point of negotiation between the White House and Congress.

"President Trump has somehow managed to produce a budget request even more untethered from reality than his past two", said Democratic Representative Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee. "This budget puts forward $2.7 trillion in spending reduction over the next ten years and balances within 15 years", Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russ Vought said. "The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again", the statement continued.

The budget will also cut funding overseas.

The president's blueprint also requests $8.6 billion in border wall funding.

"The Trump Administration's pro-growth policies have unleashed the American economy, creating millions of jobs and resulting in historically low unemployment", a White House release from the press secretary read Monday. If Congress and the White House fail to agree to lift mandatory spending caps set in a 2011 law, steep automatic cuts in many programs would kick in.

The Democratic-controlled House voted last month by 245-to-182 to nullify Mr Trump's emergency declaration.

Following the rejection of his wall funding demand, Trump declared the border was a national emergency - a move opposed by Democrats and some Republicans - and redirected $601 million in Treasury Department forfeiture funds, $2.5 billion in Defense Department drug interdiction money and $3.6 billion from a military construction budget, for total spending of $8.1 billion for the wall.

Even with the proposed cuts, the White House proposal would not eliminate the budget deficit until the mid-2030s.

House Democrats have already called the plan dead on arrival, arguing that the proposal would leave the country less safe and secure with "no chance" of passing in the chamber that they control.

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