Last week was one of big reveals for the Donald Trump administration — with the proposal of his new tax plan, the leak of two pages of Trump’s tax returns and a roundtable meeting including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ivanka Trump.
‘America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again’
Trump’s budget proposal is not a full federal budget, said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.
“(But) it does provide lawmakers and the public with a view of the priorities of the President and his Administration.”
The more than 40-page proposal details suggested budget items for various federal departments, and Mulvaney said it will not add to the federal deficit.
“The core of my first Budget Blueprint is the rebuilding of our Nation’s military without adding to our Federal deficit. There is a $54 billion increase in defense spending in 2018 that is offset by targeted reductions elsewhere,” Trump said in a letter attached to the proposal. “This defense funding is vital to rebuilding and preparing our Armed Forces for the future.”
Trump said military depletion under President Barack Obama was problematic, reaffirming his commitment to increasing funding to the U.S. Armed Forces. The proposal recommends an increase of $52 billion in DOD budget authority, which it said is one of the largest one-year increases in American history.
The proposal also earmarked $2.6 billion for infrastructure and border security technology in order to construct a physical wall along the southern border.
To balance this funding increase, the Trump proposal eliminates funding for a number of independent agencies that include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Chemical Safety Board, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The proposal additionally eliminates funding for international climate change programs, climate change research and partnership programs.
“Consistent with the President’s America First Energy Plan, the Budget reorients EPA’s air program to protect the air we breathe without unduly burdening the American economy," the proposal said.
These cuts come after a Trump executive order that required federal agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for each new regulation issued.
Two leaked pages of Trump's taxes
After announcing her show received Trump’s tax returns last Tuesday, Rachel Maddow focused her primetime show on explaining the importance of presidents releasing their tax information.
BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC.— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 14, 2017
The 2005 documents revealed Trump paid $36.6 million in income tax and earned more than $150 million and were labeled “client copy.”
Trump responded to the leak of two pages of his 2005 tax documents with skepticism and the White House called the publishing of tax returns illegal.
Trump meets with Germany’s Merkel
German chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House Friday. The visit included an Oval Office meeting, lunch and a roundtable discussion with German and American business leaders.
NATO, immigration and surveillance were among the policies discussed in the meeting.
President Trump said many nations owed money to the U.S. for past military contributions.
“I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO,” he said. “As well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense.”
During his campaign, Trump criticized Merkel for allowing refugees into Germany, but moderated his comments during the visit.
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