Education Department’s Budget Proposal Includes First Ever Teacher Voucher Program

President Donald Trump attends a meeting Thursday in the Oval Office at the White House. Washington Post

President Donald Trump attends a meeting Thursday in the Oval Office at the White House. Washington Post

Russ Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, says the "the border situation is deteriorating by the day" with "record numbers of apprehensions".

For fiscal year 2019, Trump demanded $5.7 billion in wall funds, but Congress appropriated only $1.375 billion for border fencing projects.

"For the past few years, no matter whether it was a Republican or Democratic-led administration, there have been attempts to cut or eliminate funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative", said a statement from Ohio Republican Sen.

The Republican president's budget requested US$20.8 billion (RM85 billion) for the Usda, a cut of US$3.6 billion, or 15 per cent, from the 2019 estimate, according to the proposed budget text.

"My 2020 Budget builds on the tremendous progress we have made and provides a clear roadmap for the Congress to bring federal spending and debt under control", Trump writes in a message to Congress that serves as the introduction to the budget plan. That report projected muted economic gains in coming years, partly because of the fading impact of tax cuts and higher spending.

"Congress refused to fund his wall and he was forced to admit defeat and reopen the government".

In a joint Sunday statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., vowed that the president's proposal would be defeated just as his previous funding request was shot down earlier this year following the lengthiest government shutdown in US history.

The administration is also asking Congress for $USD40 billion to fund the State Department's work on global diplomacy and aid in fiscal 2020, a slight increase from last year's request but nowhere close to addressing deep cuts made in 2017. He proposes boosting defense dollars but shifting some of it to a contingency account that doesn't count toward budget caps.

Non-defense spending was held below those caps, thanks to steep proposed funding cuts to the State Department (23 percent) and Environmental Protection Agency (31 percent), among others.

Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, also criticized the budget's Education Department proposals, saying it showed "how wildly out of sync" DeVos is.

Unemployment rate drops to 3.8% as 20000 jobs added in February
The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent to 3.8 percent, the lowest level since October 2018 (and before that, April 2000). Temporary help employment was up 2.2% y/y, with monthly job gains averaging approximately 5,600 over the past 12 months.

Veterans' healthcare receives $80 billion, and $4.8 billion is allocated to fight America's ongoing opioid epidemic. They said the money "would be better spent on rebuilding America".

Second, Social Security and Medicare are starting their rapid growth so many budget experts have been warning about for years, making it even more hard to bring the budget into balance. The budget also proposes policy changes to end sanctuary cities, the administration said.

Democrats described the White House's budget as a "gut-punch" to the country's middle class, arguing reduced spending on numerous health and safety programs would be "devastating" to Americans.

The White House argues Trump has proposed the most spending reductions of any president and that the tax cuts will pay for themselves and spur higher growth for years, which should also help reduce the deficit.

The Senate this week could join the House of Representatives in revoking Trump's emergency declaration although Congress appears to lack the two-thirds majorities needed to override Trump's expected veto of the vote against the wall. The message is: Trump isn't exactly prepared to take no for an answer here.

On the other hand, it calls for big increases in defense, as well as another $8.6 million for his wall on the southern border, on top of the $7 million Trump already claimed for his wall as part of his declaration of a "state of emergency".

The President's $USD4.7 trillion ($AUD6.7 trillion) blueprint for the fiscal year starting on October 1 also revisits the political fight over border wall funding that triggered this past winter's partial government shutdown.

"If you want to deal with budget deficits, you've got rapid growth which means keep the tax cuts in place", Kudlow said in an appearance on "Fox News Sunday".

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. The Democratic-led House already did so, and a handful of Republican senators, uneasy over what they see as an overreach of executive power, are expected to join Senate Democrats in following suit.

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