Trump’s budget plan for FY 2019 was released on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018. This is the second plan released, and it closely follows the first one, proposing major cuts for almost all Federal agencies. The plan calls for tax changes, funding for social insurance, assistance programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and food stamps; and passing Obamacare program.
Departments benefiting from the budget proposal
Although most agencies will suffer budget cuts, the president has found it reasonable for some agencies to increase the budget. Amongst Departments that will benefit from the plan are:
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
The Department of Veteran Affairs will have the major budget increase in 2019. Compared to this year’s budget, 2018, $74.4 billion, in 2019 it will increase by $ 11.1 billion, reaching $85.5 billion. Trump’s Administration proposed an increase of 14.9% for this department to enhance suicide prevention, as well as to decrease expenses for veterans living on benefits.
According to the President, the new budget will contribute to improving mental health services for veterans, support suicide screening, risk assessments and increasing alternatives for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment (PSDT). Another goal of the budget plan is to offer emergency services to certain former service members who need mental health care services, with other than honorable administrative discharges. Veterans would receive government-paid care from private doctors outside the VA system.
Department of Defense
The main reason that Trump proposed to cut the budget for the majority of U.S. Departments was to strengthen Defense and make infrastructure improvements. With an increase of 13.2%, the proposed budget for 2019 will be 686.1 billion dollars, 80.1 billion dollars more than the budget of 2018.
With an increased budget, the White House is hoping to ameliorate the military for possible conflicts against main powers, such as China and Russia. Given the recent terrorist attacks and the threats of North Korea, the Government is setting aside more money for every military need. Thus, the extra budget will allow the military to add more than sixteen thousand troops.
Besides, changes will enable to modernize the nuclear infrastructure and deal with growing threat of nuclear-armed attacks. The budget gives Pentagon all the money that it’s been asking in the recent years.
The proposed budget of Trump’s Administration aims to increase the budget of the Department of Homeland Security in order to catch, detain and deport illegal immigrants living in the United States of America. DHS would get $47.5 billion in discretionary funding, $5.5 billion more than 2018, making it an increase of 12 percent.
The budget anticipates $1.6 billion for construction of 65 miles of border wall in South Texas, in the Mexican border; $782 million to employee and support 2,750 additional law enforcement officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The budget also supports the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); $2.8 billion to increase immigration detention; $71 million for new, modernized technology at Transportation Security Administration; and $2.2 billion for Secret Service to hire special agents, officers, and professional staff.
Nevertheless, chances are that many of the cuts in the plan are unlikely to become reality. It all depends on how the Congress will react to it and decide which changes are getting the green light.