Trump unveils deep cuts to Environment and State Dept to fund defence

The Trump administration has on Thursday unveiled its preliminary budget proposal for 2018, with plans to slash Environmental Protection Agency spending 30 per cent and State Department spending by 29 per cent.

Those cuts would help fund a huge spending increase for the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, which would see their budgets rise by 9 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.

The White House has named the budget proposal “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”.

The proposal, which would lead to a $54bn increase in US defence spending, while slashing funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the US Agency for International Development, has already been criticised by Democrats and some Republicans, for weakening US “soft power” institutions which burnish the country’s image abroad through diplomacy and aid.

“This budget only gives us a picture of one and a half years and proposes changes to the 30 percent of spending that is discretionary,” said Maya MacGuineas, President of the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, has suggested that a bill with such significant cuts to State Department spending would struggle to pass in Congress. Mr McConnell has not publicly commented on the budget since its release.

The full budget is available to read here.

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