President Trump 2017 U. S. Budget News


Supporters gather for 'March 4 Trump' rallies around US

Associated Press


NEW YORK — “Supporters of President Donald Trump are convening near Trump Tower, the Washington Monument and several other places around the country in marches to show their pride in his presidency.


Saturday's "March 4 Trump" demonstrations are also intended to show unity in the face of what organizers call "a seditious fringe" aiming to sabotage his vision for the country.


A couple hundred supporters gathered in New York near Trump Tower, chanting "U-S-A." One held a sign reading: "I am not a Democrat anymore." Another read: "Yes he is our president."


A rally at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus turned into a clash of words when Trump protesters shouted "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" over the supporters' "U-S-A" chants.


Trump supporters have held rallies in recent weeks to counter demonstrations against him.


Interior secretary repeals ban on lead bullets

The Hill - Timothy Cama


“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order Thursday overturning a ban on using lead ammunition on wildlife refuges.


Zinke signed the order on his first day in office, overturning a policy implemented by former Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe on Jan. 19, the Obama administration's last full day in office.


Ashe's policy banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on all FWS wildlife refuges that allow hunting or fishing, as well as in all other hunting or fishing regulated by the agency elsewhere.


It was meant to help prevent plants and animals from being poisoned by lead left on the ground or in the water.


"After reviewing the order and the process by which it was promulgated, I have determined that the order is not mandated by any existing statutory or regulatory requirement and was issued without significant communication, consultation or coordination with affected stakeholders," Zinke wrote in his order.


Zinke also signed an order Thursday asking agencies within his purview to find ways to increase access to outdoor recreation on the lands they oversee.


"It worries me to think about hunting and fishing becoming activities for the land-owning elite," he said in a statement. "This package of secretarial orders will expand access for outdoor enthusiasts and also make sure the community's voice is heard."


Gun rights advocates, sportsmen's groups, conservatives and state wildlife agencies were united against the lead ban.


Lead is standard in ammunition, and lead-free bullets are more expensive, leading opponents to accuse the FWS of trying to reduce hunting. Furthermore, opponents say, scientific studies do not show large-scale harms from lead use in hunting and fishing.

"This was a reckless, unilateral overreach that would have devastated the sportsmen's community," Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement, thanking Zinke.


"The Obama administration failed to consult with state fish and wildlife agencies or national angling and hunting organizations in issuing this order. This was not a decision based on sound scientific evidence - it was a last second attack on traditional ammunition and our hunting heritage."


Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who had asked for the repeal Wednesday, applauded Zinke's action.


"I'm pretty certain the bureaucrat that put this regulation in place has never hunted elk in Montana," he said in a statement. "Secretary Zinke is off to a strong start protecting Montana's and our country's hunting and fishing heritage."


But the Sierra Club said there is "no reason" not to take lead out of ammunition and tackle.


"Non-lead options are available, effective, cost-competitive, and most importantly safer," said Athan Manuel, public lands director for the group.


"Overturning the lead ammunition ban may win political points with a few special interests, but it could cost the lives of millions of birds and the health of families that rely on game to feed their families."


“I started a thread relating to President Trumps alleged conspiracy-theories as a candidate and President, accusations and even alleged sex fetishes Trump is suppose to be guilty of with prostitutes in Russia.


President Trumps Alleged Conspiracy-theories As a Candidate and President, Accusations, Etc.


Before he was elected, there were actuations about alleged sexual statements he was supposed to have said.


Other accusations relate to Trumps business holdings partly invested in by Russia and discussions with his staff and Russia Ambassador about Sanctions for meddling with the Presidential election by allegedly hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails held in a private server and the DNC communication through email.


If Clinton had followed the rules, her emails would not have been exposed.


There are concerns about Sessions, the AG, allegedly lying to congress about not speaking with Russian Diplomats during President elect Trumps transition, while the AG claims he only did so in the capacity of his Senate job and Lt. General Flyn resigning over the same issue.


President Trump accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ plot to wiretap Trump Tower. Obama spokesman denies Trump claim of wiretap order.


You would think a President would be well informed.


There is even fact checkers debating President Trumps accomplishments and:


AP FACT CHECK: Trump's skewed ledger of achievements

Associated Press - By CALVIN WOODWARD and JIM DRINKARD, Associated Press


WASHINGTON — “The start of a new administration is never a clean slate, even when parties flip. Day One is just another day for military operations, a budget that is still in place from the old crowd and a vast array of economic, social and law enforcement initiatives left over by the last president.


You would not know this from President Donald Trump.


He loudly and proudly takes credit for any positive development that has bloomed since he took office Jan. 20, even when the roots and buds of it were from President Barack Obama's time. In his speech to Congress and other remarks in recent days, Trump has claimed credit for:


—big savings in an F-35 fighter jet contract that were in motion well before he became president.

—corporate job announcements that also had been months or longer in the making.

—an infusion of money from NATO partners that has not materialized at all, but reflects a long-standing intent by some members to increase their military capabilities.

—a tough-on-criminals approach to immigration enforcement that was planned and put into place during Obama's presidency.

—a $12 billion drop in the U.S. debt, a routine blip traced to the regular timing of tax payments and other fiscal factors unconnected to any president.

—his plan to restore military supremacy, though he inherited military capabilities that are already second to none.

Trump does, though, seek to shift some responsibility to the last administration for an operation he authorized that did not go smoothly — the covert mission in Yemen in which a Navy SEAL and civilians were killed.


That mission "was started before I got here," Trump said.


It can take months for a new president to pile up achievements or failures that are truly his own. A look at a selection of his statements from the past week:


TRUMP: Speaking of the NATO alliance, "Our partners must meet their financial obligations. And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that. In fact, I can tell you the money is pouring in. Very nice. Very nice."


THE FACTS: No new money has come pouring in from NATO allies. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made a strong case when he met with allied defense ministers at a NATO gathering last month, pressing them to meet their 2014 commitment to spend 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024. Mattis and other leaders said the allies understood the message and there was some discussion about working out plans to meet the goal.


Only five of the 28 member countries currently meet the 2 percent level, and no new commitments have been made since the NATO meeting. Others in the alliance have routinely said they will work toward the increase. In any event, the commitment is for these nations to spend more on their own military capabilities, which would strengthen the alliance, not to hand over money.


TRUMP: "According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year."


THE FACTS: That's not exactly what that report says. It says immigrants "contribute to government finances by paying taxes and add expenditures by consuming public services."


The report found that while first-generation immigrants are more expensive to governments than their native-born counterparts, primarily at the state and local level, immigrants' children "are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the population." This second generation contributed more in taxes on a per capita basis, for example, than did the rest of the population in the period studied, 1994-2013.


The report found that the "long-run fiscal impact" of immigrants and their children would probably be seen as more positive "if their role in sustaining labor force growth and contributing to innovation and entrepreneurial activity were taken into account."


TRUMP: "We've saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price" of the F-35 jet fighter.


THE FACTS: The cost savings he persists in bragging about were secured in full or in large part before he became president.


The head of the Air Force program announced significant price reductions in the contract for the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet Dec. 19 — after Trump had tweeted about the cost but weeks before Trump met the company's CEO about it.


Pentagon managers took action even before the election to save money on the contract. Todd Harrison, a defense analyst and aerospace specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, "I don't see any evidence to suggest that President Trump had anything to do with this."


TRUMP: "Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Wal-Mart and many others have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs."


THE FACTS: Trump is taking credit for corporate jobs decisions that largely predate his election. In the case of Intel, construction of the factory in Chandler, Arizona, that Trump referred to actually began during Obama's presidency. The project was delayed by insufficient demand for Intel's high-powered computer chips, but the company now expects to finish the factory within four years because it anticipates business growth.


Some of the job announcements have come after companies, such as the wireless carrier Sprint, reduced their numbers of workers.

More important, even as some companies create jobs, others are laying off workers. The best measure of whether more jobs are actually being created is the monthly employment report issued by the Labor Department, which nets out those gains and losses. The department will issue its report for February, the first full month of Trump's term, on March 10.


TRUMP: His budget plan will offer "one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history."


THE FACTS: Three times in recent years, Congress raised defense budgets by larger percentages than the $54 billion, or 10 percent, increase that Trump proposes. The base defense budget grew by $41 billion, or 14.3 percent, in 2002; by $37 billion, or 11.3 percent, in 2003, and by $47 billion, or 10.9 percent, in 2008, according to Defense Department figures.


And going back farther, his increase doesn't come close to ones in the defense budget seen in the early 1980s, when they hit 20 percent or more, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


TRUMP: "Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force."


THE FACTS: That's true, but for the vast majority of them, it's because they choose to be.


(That is a false statement as no one could know such a thing and the GDP and thousands of business, like banks, restaurants, and stores, closed in the past 8 years tells the story.)


That 94 million figure includes everyone age 16 and older who doesn't have a job and isn't looking for one.


(Again citing no evidence, studies, etc., clearly an opinion.). It also includes retirees, parents who are staying home to raise children, and high school and college students who are studying rather than working.


(I’d have to see reports).


They are unlikely to work regardless of the state of the economy.


(Well, so lets just do nothing, I guess this fact checker believes there’s no need to create new jobs because no one really wants to work because there busy raising families, studying and enjoying there retirement, so here is an argument for illegal aliens in America.).


With the huge baby boomer generation reaching retirement age and many of them retiring, the population of those out of the labor force is increasing and will continue to do so, economists forecast.


(I’d have to see reports, yet $400,000.00 fireman salaries, benefits and pensions retiring in there fifties coupled with other city pensions, it might be true).


It's true that some of those out of the workforce are of working age and have given up looking for work. But that number is probably a small fraction of the 94 million Trump cited.


(probably, please.)


The nation's unemployment rate stands at 4.8 percent, near the lowest in a decade (It doesn’t measure the jobless correctly, because many are no longer receiving benefits or have exhausted there job hunting, hoping for new business start ups, expansions and defense contracts.


TRUMP: "Our Navy is now the smallest it's been since, believe or not, World War I. Don't worry. It's going to soon be the largest it's been."


THE FACTS: No, the fleet is not growing to the largest it's been or anything close.


The fleet indeed shrank to its smallest size since the decade after World War I — bottoming out at 271 in 2015 before rising to 274 this year, compared with 139 in 1930. But that number alone is not that meaningful.


(Frigates, Destroyers, Cruisers, Amphibious carriers, aircraft carriers, air wings, marines, sailors and airmen levels are measured by many things from operating in several theaters of war, state side training, overhauls, maintenance periods, deployments, age of ship, types of ships, aircraft number, etc., so the navy knows best for sure, but no navy admiral would ever say the U. S. Navy has lost its superiority, yet Pacific and European Commanders have said in past articles China is the biggest threat in the East and South China Sea, alarming, now the Western Pacific, and along with the Russians, steamed off the coast of Alaska while our former President was renaming a mountain for tribesman’s, a deserving act I think.)


The nature of warfare has changed since the naval battles of the world wars; the rise of air power is just one significant factor. As well, for the past few decades the Navy has dramatically increased the warfighting effectiveness of its ships, meaning it can do more with far fewer vessels than it could during the Cold War, for example.


(Mercy, with the 7th and 5th fleets, the 3rd and 4th fleets’ area of responsibilities, the U. S. Forces Command Atlantic area of responsibilities along with the 6th fleet, African and European Commands of the navy require enough military assets to accomplish the goals of the executive branch and the congress in regards to global concerns, protecting ourselves and being a strong NATO ally and the Coast Guard ships, woops, quite a few navy ships aging as well and boldly stated by this fact checker:)


The fleet stood at a record high of 6,768 fighting ships during World War II, declined gradually in the 1950s and 1960s and dropped significantly after the Vietnam War. During the 1990s the number fell from the high 500s to the mid-300s as the Navy decommissioned many older ships and the U.S. reaped a "peace dividend" from the end of the Cold War. The count includes aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, submarines, amphibious assault ships and other large combat ships.


The fleet may grow more than planned if Trump's military expansion is approved by Congress.


(More then planned, by who, Obama and liberal socialist democrats?) But no one is talking about matching — much less exceeding — the enormous armada of another age.


The number of Navy personnel has fallen over time, too, from more than 725,000 in 1954 to about 323,000 now. It's unlikely to grow anywhere near that higher level.


Navy Manning Plan - United States Navy





Wartime Requirement

Required SMD/SQMD / FWD












“Furstration Gap”




Your Share


“Expected EDVR









“Deck plates”




Readiness and FIT levels are not based on NMP

Some Sailors are not distributable to sea

Sailors not world wide assignable (~1K)

HIV Sailors (~365)

Pregnant/LIMDU Sailors count in NMP on shore (~6K)

HUMS (~115)

Some Sailors are limited where they can be distributed at sea

Exceptional Family Members (~10K)

Dual Military Spouses (~13K)

Non US Citizens (~5.5K)

Decomms often require manning after funding is removed

CGs, CV-67, etc.

Some commands require manning before billets are funded

HUQ-1, HSM-37

Even if endstrength and inventory are 100%...

Distributable inventory may not be in the right payband

SSF requirements don’t align with Fleet Demands


 Thousands of monthly BA changes impact “fair-share” allocation

In a perfect world, individual commands would always be manned to BA.  If inventory limits the ability to man to BA, then distribution strives to man commands to their NMP level.

Distribution of available assets is constrained by:


Billet changes

NEC requirements

PCS/Training costs

Sea/Shore Flow


NMP provides a projected number of a command’s share of inventory, it is unrealistic to expect that the distribution process can always meet it

NMP does not guarantee that a requisition will have the relative priority to be advertised on CMS-ID, using either the MCA’s requisition priority algorithm or a MCA manual override


TRUMP: "According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home — from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center."


THE FACTS: It's unclear what Justice Department data he's citing, but the most recent government information doesn't back up his claim. Just over half the people Trump talks about were born in the United States, according to Homeland Security Department research. That report said of 82 people the government determined were inspired by a foreign terrorist group to attempt or carry out an attack in the U.S., just over half were native-born citizens.


Even the attacks Trump singled out weren't entirely the work of foreigners. Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his Pakistani wife killed 14 people in the 2015 attack in San Bernardino, California, was born in Chicago.


It's true that in the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, the FBI's primary concern was with terrorists from overseas feared to be plotting attacks in the United States. But that's no longer the case.


The FBI and the Justice Department have been preoccupied with violent extremists from inside the U.S. who are inspired by the calls to violence and mayhem of the Islamic State group. The Justice Department has prosecuted scores of IS-related cases since 2014, and many of the defendants are U.S. citizens.


(I agree mostly with this report on IS-related cases, yet to me, Islamic immigrants children born in America may be an American because of birth, like Chinese women coming to America to have there babies and then go back home to raise there child. But that in itself doesn’t mean they will embrace the U. S. Judicial System, U S. Constitution or not be radical, yet I know Muslim Americans, the majority are law abiding, Now you can tell me I’m being discriminative against Islamic religion itself, and you would be correct, but not because of the faith folks have in there dream of 70 virgins’ or belief in Mohamed, but because Islam followers believe I’m an Infidel and can be killed, for being a non believer. ISIS is focused on this mission. So the day Islam rewrites its torah to say more compassionate and loving things about me like my Lord Jesus said about his enemies, ‘for give them for they no what they do,” or love thy neighbor as thy self,”, then I’ll believe Islam is a religion and not an ideology based on there prophet Mohammad, who was a warring murderer for a belief and a cause just like the Roman Catholic Church was in the early days during the Crusades. Prince Richards, later King of England, MURDERED his prisoners after seizing a port town, so he, with his followers, who were promised salvation and entrance into the kingdom of GOD, if they fight in battle to grab the home of Judaism from Muslims, marching with their white cross, arrived Jerusalem, but never attacked. Prince Richard arrived the city gates twice, but his final attempt never materialized and he went home. I could deliver the entire crusade history or as far back as history goes, from kingdom after kingdom and the fact will always bear fruits that the tribe of Israel was given Jerusalem and surrounding area. It’s true they lost it to Muslims and Christians (international flags of Spain, France, England, etc., countries from the Atlantic and Europe in the early days and control by the Romains as well. Christianity evolved into the true meaning of the word of Jesus Christ and GOD once mankind’s intellect advanced spiritually. Amazingly it was so brutal at the beginning and that the Catholic Church promised salvation to fight in the crusades, but the facts reveal a different Catholic Church today compared to the one that sacrificed Indians during the Spain and Portugal land disputes, rather then loose there church in Spain and Portugal, and possibly throughout Europe. Of course the Indian Jungle King couldn’t understand why the Emissary of the Vatican wanted his people to go back into the jungle where the devil lived.


I’m trying to be fair and balance, tolerant and loving, but the facts are fact, fact finders. Christianity is a blaze in the Middle East and diversity among Christians is great.


I question the level of the knowledge of history and present day threats from many of whom articleS I read?)


TRUMP on military capability: "We are going to have very soon the finest equipment in the world."


THE FACTS: Pentagon leaders have said for years that the U.S. already has the world's best weaponry and military equipment. They sometimes claim the U.S. is in danger of losing its advantage unless the Congress continues to spend heavily to develop and build new generations of weapons.


The Navy's top officer, Adm. John Richardson, has said repeatedly that the Navy is the world's finest. He also has said the Navy must adapt to a world of changing security threats. Richardson's main focus has been on sharpening and changing the way sailors think about the nature of war, rather than relying on bigger budgets.


"We will not be able to 'buy' our way out of the challenges that we face," he wrote in a January 2016 plan for maintaining U.S. naval superiority.” (Yes that is true, but this same Admiral would now I’m betting know how to spend what ever increase in the navy’s budget to better equip the navy for future threats presently building between China naval power and the U.S. Navy and now, with no missiles in Poland to strengthen Americas and the free worlds position in the world militarily, Russia developed some long range missiles they agreed in a treaty not to, Iranian navy is stepping up to actually be a threat to our navy’s ships and aircraft, even our submarines might come in contact with an Iranian submarine, and then there is the grand might Korean leader exclaiming as soon as he can, he’ll announce he can slam dunk a nuclear missile at San Diego, Ca., but actually Hawaii.)


So Fact Finder, you haven’t got much of a clue. Check out


Find all AP Fact Checks at


(You bet were the finest navy but while Obama was President and his cronies were in charge of the government, the military spending was decreased by the seaquester and no major navy expansion of ships, that would employee another million or so shipyard personnel, up dating and growing the navy, both in vessels and new navy recruits and officers. Summer Pulse 2004 illustrated aircraft carrier task forces in various regions of the world, which requires aircraft carriers to be available and not under going overhaul or maintenance periods or selective restricted availability. Task forces supported by DESRON’s and a submarine or two in areas of operations require manning and ships for each aircraft carrier. There is always one carrier under going RCOH for 3 and a half years or more, then stateside training, etc., and several other aircraft carriers conducting Overhauls, etc., every year. My reports count the commissioned days of service as compared to all overhaul and maintenance, SRA’s etc., down times in conjunction with deployment days at sea and counting further, at sea periods for training, thereby discovering the navy could support four theaters of operations keeping up with its scheduled aircraft carrier stateside activities from down time do to overhauls, maintenance, SRA’s periods, etc., as well as at sea periods for training, yet some exercises would most likely begin at the beginning of a deployment like:


U.S. commissioned and active aircraft carriers from 2004 to 2012, further illustrates that to rely on an eleven aircraft carrier fleet reduces deployments due to upkeep periods, upgrade, major overhaul, PSA, SRA, ESRA, DSRA, EDSRA, PIA, DPIA, COH, RCOH, shipyard sea trials, Inspection and Survey (INSURV), combat systems ship's qualification trial (CSSQT), Tailored Ship's Training Availability (TSTA), underway training exercises, Carrier Qualifications (CQ), Fleet Replacement Squadron Carrier Qualifications, Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) and sustainment exercise (SUSTAINEX).


“Once an aircraft carrier completes its JTFEX and or SUSTAINEX, it’s ready for deployment while in several instances carriers conducted there JATEX at the beginning of a deployment, while USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) in support of Summer Pulse ’04, as one of seven carriers worldwide to participate in the exercise, which demonstrated the Navy’s Fleet Response Plan and took part in Exercise Majestic Eagle, the culmination of Summer Pulse '04 which is the Navy's first deployment under its new FRP, underway in the Western Atlantic from 2 to 20 June 2004 conducted COMPTUEX (Composite Unit Training Exercises) (2 June to 25 July 2004) but did not conduct JTFEX as well as USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)” (Ref. 76).


Now the facts have been introduced properly. You learned, that the global arenas of threats to America are decided on by the congress and a President that doesn’t want Trump Tower blown up or anything else in a America.


Peace through Strength.)


Associated Press writers Robert Burns, Alicia A. Caldwell, Eric Tucker, Lolita C. Baldor and Christopher S. Rugaber contributed to this report.


Fellow Conservative:


President Trump's first budget was released this morning and it includes some much-needed cuts in federal spending.


 The budget calls for spending reductions in virtually every agency except for Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs.


 And it specifically calls for the elimination of a number of small, independent agencies, including:


•Corporation for Public Broadcasting

•Legal Services Corporation

•National Endowment for the Arts

•National Endowment for the Humanities, and

•Overseas Private Investment Corporation

You can find the White House budget summary here.


 While this budget is only a blueprint that must be approved by Congress and while it only covers annual discretionary spending, its proposed reductions are a major step in the right direction.


If we are ever going to balance the budget and create real economic growth, we must cut federal spending.


 We expect Democrats in Congress to oppose these cuts along with many big-spending Republicans.


 In fact, a senior aide to GOP leadership on Capitol Hill said the President's budget is "a joke... we've learned not to listen to anything he says or does. We're on our own."


 One of the biggest areas of disagreement with the GOP establishment is the president's plan to cut foreign aid, which includes cuts to funding for the United Nations and the World Bank.


 Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Trump's proposed cuts to foreign aid would be "dead on arrival" in the Senate, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he opposes the cuts.


 They are wrong and should either be forced to change their position or answer to their constituents. They either stand with Donald Trump on this or with Nancy Pelosi.


With your help, we will work to enact these and other spending cuts to help balance the budget, fund true priorities, and encourage economic growth that benefits all Americans.


 As the appropriations process begins, we will keep you informed of key developments and let you know which members you can call to move things in the right direction.




Ken Cuccinelli II


Senate Conservatives Action


America First, A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again


Office of Management and Budget


Table of Contents


President’s Message - 1


OMB Director’s Message - 3


Major Agency Budget Highlights - 5


Management - 7


Regulation - 9


Department of Agriculture - 11


Department of Commerce - 13


Department of Defense - 15


Department of Education - 17


Department of Energy - 19


Department of Health and Human Services - 21


Department of Homeland Security - 23


Department of Housing and Urban Development - 25


Department of the Interior - 27


Department of Justice - 29


Department of Labor - 31


Department of State, USAID, and Treasury International Programs - 33


Department of Transportation - 35


Department of the Treasury - 37


Department of Veterans Affairs - 39


Environmental  Protection Agency - 41


National Aeronautics and Space Administration - 43


Small Business Administration - 45


Summary Tables - 47


Table 1.    Proposed Discretionary Caps  for 2018 Budget - 49


Table 2.    2018 Discretionary Overview by Major Agency - 50


Table 3.    Major  2018 Budget Changes from Current Law - 52


Table 4.    Major  2017 Changes from Security Supplemental Request - 53




1. All years referenced for economic data are calendar years unless otherwise noted. All years referenced for budget data are fiscal years unless otherwise noted.


2. At the time of this writing, only one  of the  annual appropriations bills for 2017 had been  enacted (the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act), as well as the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, which provided 2017 discretionary funding for certain Department of Defense accounts; therefore, the programs provided for in the remaining 2017 annual appropriations bills  were  operating under a continuing resolution (Public Law 114-223, division C, as amended).  For these programs, references to 2017 spending in the text and tables reflect the levels provided by the continuing resolution.


3. Details in the  tables may  not add  to the  totals due  to rounding.


4. Web address:




Beginning a New Chapter of American Greatness




The American people elected me to fight for their priorities in Washington, D.C. and deliver on my promise to protect our Nation. I fully intend to keep that promise.


One of the most important ways the Federal Government sets priorities is through the Budget of the United States.


Accordingly, I submit to the Congress this Budget Blueprint to reprioritize Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people.


Our aim is to meet the simple, but crucial demand of our citizens—a Government that puts the needs of its own people first.  When we do that, we will set free the dreams of every American, and we will begin a new chapter of American greatness.


A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority—because without safety, there can be no prosperity.


That is why I have instructed my Budget Director, Mick Mulvaney, to craft a budget that emphasizes national security and public safety.  That work is reflected in this Budget Blueprint.  To keep Americans safe, we have made tough choices that have been put off for too long.  But we have also made necessary investments that are long overdue.


My Budget Blueprint for 2018:


•   provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the debt;


•   significantly increases the budget for immigration enforcement at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security;


•   includes additional resources for a wall on the southern border with Mexico,  immigration judges, expanded detention capacity, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and  Border Patrol;


•   increases funding to address violent crime and reduces opioid abuse; and


•   puts America first by keeping more of America’s hard-earned tax dollars here at home.


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. This defense funding is vital to rebuilding and preparing our Armed Forces for the future.


We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they need to deter war, and when called upon to fight, do only one thing: Win.


In these dangerous times, this public safety and national security Budget Blueprint is a message to the world—a message of American strength, security, and resolve.


This Budget Blueprint follows through on my promise to focus on keeping Americans safe, keeping terrorists out of our country, and putting violent offenders behind bars.


The defense and public safety spending increases in this Budget Blueprint are offset and paid for by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the Federal Government. Our Budget Blueprint insists on $54 billion in reductions to non-Defense programs.  We are going to do more with less, and make the Government lean and accountable to the people.


This includes deep cuts to foreign aid.  It is time to prioritize the security and well-being of Americans, and to ask the rest of the world to step up and pay its fair share.


Many other Government agencies and departments will also experience cuts.  These cuts are sensible and rational.  Every agency and department will be driven to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending in carrying out their honorable service to the American people.


I look forward to engaging the Congress and enacting this America First Budget.



Donald J. Trump


Please share this on Facebook and Twitter.


Capitol Hill Republicans not on board with Trump budget

The Washington Post - Kelsey Snell and Karoun Demirjian - March 15, 2017


“Defense hawks, rural conservatives and even some of Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress sharply criticized the president’s first budget proposal on Thursday, pushing back on the huge potential hike in defense spending as insufficient and decrying some other cuts to federal agencies and programs.


Capitol Hill Republicans, however, did not seem terribly worried about the prospect of such a budget being enacted, stating matter-of-factly that it is Congress, after all, that controls the purse strings.


“Presidents propose, Congress disposes,” said Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) the former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “We’ve not had our chance yet.”


Rogers was one of several GOP lawmakers to dismiss Trump’s budget as a pie-in-the sky wishlist with little hope of surviving negotiations in Congress. Most Republicans gave passing support to Trump’s general goal of increasing defense spending while reducing costs elsewhere in the budget. But none would embrace the specific White House blueprint.


“I’ve never seen a president’s budget proposal not revised substantially,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). “As a member of the Budget Committee, I’ll carefully scrutinize and assess priorities as the president has with his proposal.”


Even some of Trump’s closest allies said the White House budget has virtually no chance in Congress, pointing to what they expect to be vociferous opposition from Democrats.


“The left is not going to let him decrease non-defense discretionary to the extent that he wants to,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) told reporters on Thursday. “We’re going to have to find a different way to balance the budget.”


One reason for the tepid response on Capitol Hill is that top lawmakers are mired in high-level negotiations to craft an interim budget when the current spending deal runs out on April 28. Talks so far have centered on sticking to a two-year bipartisan spending agreement with an overall spending level of $1.07 trillion for 2017.


Republicans expect that the spending targets for 2018 will instead stick to a cap of $1.066 trillion agreed to in the 2011 Budget Control Act, which spelled out across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester, according to several aides familiar with the negotiations.

It’s not just that Republicans are worried about the $54 billion hike in defense spending making a powerful dent in 18 other federal agencies — most prominently the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department.


Many Republicans also expressed concern that Trump’s budget slashes foreign aid by an especially large number.


“As General Mattis said prophetically, slashing the diplomatic efforts will cause them to have to buy more ammunition,” Rogers said. “There is two sides to fighting the problem that we’re in: there is military and then there’s diplomatic. And we can’t afford to dismantle the diplomatic half of that equation.”


Rogers predicted the foreign aid cuts “will not stand” once Congress begins considering Trump’s request in earnest.


Defense hawks also feel betrayed by Trump’s hike to the military budget, accusing the president of everything from accounting gimmicks to playing fast and loose with the lives of soldiers in war zones in order to capi­tal­ize on campaign promises.


The GOP has long clamored that defense cuts introduced during the last administration have damaged the military and hampered its war readiness. Many in the party supported Trump’s call for a dramatic increase in military investment – something they say is impossible under this budget.


“The Administration’s budget request is not enough to repair that damage and to rebuild the military as the president has discussed,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said in a statement, noting “serious shortcomings” that “will worsen without immediate action.”


“It is morally wrong to task someone with a mission for which they are not fully prepared and fully supported with the best weapons and equipment this nation can provide,” Thornberry added.


In recent years, official defense budgets have often been supplemented by additional war funding, which is not subject to spending caps.

Thornberry and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) both insist that the country needs a $640 billion defense budget in fiscal 2018 “to rebuild our military, restore military readiness, and modernize our forces for the realities of 21st century warfare.” That is far more than the Trump administration has offered.


“It’s a starting point” was a common refrain among military-minded Republicans, marking the highest praise most could muster about the president’s proposed defense spending.”


62 agencies and programs Trump wants to eliminate

USA TODAY - Gregory Korte – March 16, 2017


WASHINGTON — “President Trump's proposed budget takes a cleaver to domestic programs, with many agencies taking percentage spending cuts in the double digits.


But for dozens of smaller agencies and programs, the cut is 100%.


Community development block grants. The Weatherization Assistance Program. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The National Endowment for the Arts. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. All would be axed if Congress adopts Trump's budget.


Also proposed for elimination are lesser-known bureaucracies like the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program and the Inter-American Foundation.


Many of those programs have constituencies in states and cities across the country — and their champions in Congress. "The president's beholden to nobody but the people who elected him, and yes, I understand that every lawmaker over there has pet projects," said Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney. "That's the nature of the beast."


He said not every program would disappear overnight. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which now receives $485 million a year, might still get some federal funding in 2018, for example. "It might take a while to unwind that relationship. It’s just the nature of contracts," Mulvaney said.


Trump's budget says hundreds of programs and agencies would be eliminated — with more than 50 in the Environmental Protection Agency. But his first budget proposal identified 62 specifically. The list:


Department of Agriculture


Water and Wastewater loan and grant program ($498 million): "Rural communities can be served by private sector financing or other federal investments in rural water infrastructure, such as the Environmental Protection Agency's State Revolving Funds," the budget says.


McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program ($202 million): Trump's budget says the program — a sort of Third World school lunch project — "lacks evidence that it is being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity."


Department of Commerce


Economic Development Administration ($221 million): Obama's 2017 budget touted the agency as " the only federal government agency with a mission and programs focused exclusively on economic development." The Trump budget says it has "limited measurable impacts and duplicates other federal programs."


Minority Business Development Agency ($32 million): The White House says this minority business incubator program is "duplicative" of other programs in the Small Business Administration.


Department of Education 


Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program ($2.4 billion): The White House says the program is "poorly targeted and spread thinly across thousands of districts with scant evidence of impact."


21st Century Community Learning Centers program ($1.2 billion): The formula grants to states support before- and after-school and summer programs. "The programs lacks strong evidence of meeting its objectives, such as improving student achievement," the budget says.


Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program ($732 million): This financial aid program, known as SEOG, help give up to $4,000 a year to college students based on financial need. The Trump administration says it's a "less well-targeted" program than Pell Grants.


Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program ($190 million): The grants are targeted toward students with disabilities or limited English proficiency. 


Teacher Quality Partnership ($43 million): A teacher training and recruitment grant program.  


Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property ($67 million): Obama also proposed the elimination of this program, which reimburses schools for lost tax revenue from tax-exempt federal properties in their districts.


International Education programs ($7 million): This line item funds a variety of exchange programs, migrant schools and special education services abroad.


Department of Energy


Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ($382 million): This alternative energy research program was established by Congress in 2007 with the goal of funding projects that the private sector would not.


Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program: This loan fund finances projects that combat global warming.


Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program: Helps finance fuel-efficient vehicle research. "The private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies," the White House says.


Weatherization Assistance Program ($121 million): The program helps homeowners make their homes more energy efficient with grants of up to $6,500.


State Energy Program ($28.2 million): Gives grants to states to help them work on energy efficiency and anti-climate change programs.


Department of Health and Human Services


Health professions and nursing training programs ($403 million): Trump's budget says these programs "lack evidence that they significantly improve the nation's health workforce." Instead, Trump wants to provide scholarships and student loans in in exchange for service in areas with a nursing shortage.


Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program ($3.4 billion): LIHEAP helps the elderly and low-income people pay their heating and power bills. 


Community Services Block Grants ($715 million): CSBG is an anti-poverty grant program that the White House says duplicates emergency food assistance and employment programs.


Department of Housing and Urban Development


Community Development Block Grant program ($3 billion): CDBG has been a bread-and-butter funding source for local communities for 42 years, totaling more than $150 billion in grants over its history. "The program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results," Trump's budget says.


Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing program ($35 million): The affordable housing program supports organizations like the Local Initiatives Support Corp., which the White House says should be privately funded.


Department of the Interior


Abandoned Mine Land grants ($160 million): The Trump administration wants to eliminate a discretionary grant program that it says overlaps with a $2.7 billion permanent fund.


National Heritage Areas ($20 million): These are state-and-federal partnerships to preserve natural, historic, scenic, and cultural resources. 


National Wildlife Refuge fund ($480 million): Maintains the Fish and Wildlife Service's 563 wildlife refuges throughout the country. 


Department of Justice


State Criminal Alien Assistance Program ($210 million): Four states receive the bulk of the funding from this program, which reimburses states for the cost of incarcerating criminal immigrants. 


Department of Labor


Senior Community Service Employment Program ($434 million): SCSEP is a job training program for low-income people 55 and older that the White House says is "ineffective."


Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants ($11 million)


Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development


The Global Climate Change Initiative ($1.3 billion) was an Obama administration proposal to support the Paris climate agreement. It includes the Green Climate Fund ($250 million), the Strategic Climate Fund ($60 million) and the Clean Technology Fund ($171 million).


Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund ($70 million): The account allows the president to "provide humanitarian assistance for unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs worldwide," but Trump said the mission is best left to international and non-governmental relief organizations


The East-West Center ($16 million): Chartered by Congress as the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West, the Honolulu-based nonprofit has a mission of strengthening relations among Pacific Rim countries.


Department of Transportation


The Essential Air Service program ($175 million) provides federal subsidies for commercial air service at rural airports. EAS flights are not full and have high subsidy costs per passenger. Trump's budget says several of those airports are close to major airports, and that rural communities could be served by other modes of transportation.

Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants ($499 million): The Obama-era TIGER program funded multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional projects, but the White House wants to cut existing infrastructure spending in favor of his own $1 billion infrastructure proposal.


Department of the Treasury


Community Development Financial Institutions grants ($210 million): Trump's budget says the 23-year-old program to support community banks and credit unions is obsolete.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Geographic watershed programs ($427 million) like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative ($40 million) and the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Initiative ($14 million): The Trump budget would turn over responsibility for those efforts to state and regional governments.


Fifty other EPA programs ($347 million) including Energy Star, Targeted Airshed Grants, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, and infrastructure assistance to Alaska Native Villages and the Mexico border.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Office of Education ($115 million), which the Trump budget says duplicates efforts by the agency's Science Mission Directorate.


Independent agencies and commissions


African Development Foundation ($26 million): An independent foreign aid agency focusing on economic development in Africa.


Appalachian Regional Commission ($119 million): A 52-year-old agency focused on economic growth in 420 counties.


Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board ($11 million): The agency was created by the Clean Air Act of 1990 and investigates chemical accidents.


Corporation for National and Community Service ($771 million): The agency is best known for its Americorps community service program.


Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($485 million): Supports public television and radio stations, including the PBS television network and, indirectly, National Public Radio.

Delta Regional Authority ($45 million): An economic development agency for the eight-state Mississippi Delta region.


Denali Commission ($14 million): A state and federal economic development agency for Alaska.


Institute of Museum and Library Services ($231 million): Provides money to the nation's 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. 


Inter-American Foundation ($23 million): Promotes "citizen-led grassroots development" in Latin America and the Caribbean.


U.S. Trade and Development Agency ($66 million): Promotes U.S. exports in energy, transportation, and telecommunications.


Legal Services Corp. ($366 million): A 43-year-old congressionally chartered organization that helps provide free civil legal advice to poor people.


National Endowment for the Arts ($152 million): Encourages participation in the arts.

National Endowment for the Humanities ($155 million): Supports scholarship into literature and culture.


Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. ($175 million): Better known as Neighborworks America, the organization supports local affordable housing programs.


Northern Border Regional Commission ($7 million): A regional economic development agency serving parts of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.


Overseas Private Investment Corp.($63 million): Encourages U.S. private investment in the developing world.


U.S. Institute of Peace ($40 million): Government-run think tank focusing on conflict prevention.


U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness ($4 million): An independent agency coordinating the federal government's efforts to reduce homelessness.


Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars ($11 million): A program to provide scholarships and fellowships in social sciences and humanities.”


White House: Meals on Wheels Isn’t ‘Showing Any Results’

Time - Zeke J Miller – March 16, 2017


“The White House defended cuts to social welfare programs in President Trump’s budget blueprint Thursday, casting them as a fulfillment of a pledge to make government more efficient.


Speaking to reporters at the daily White House briefing, budget director Mick Mulvaney argued that cuts on everything from Meals on Wheels and after-school care to foreign aid are aimed to improving government.


“Meals on Wheels sounds great,” he said, arguing that it’s the sort of program that is “not showing any results.”


(In fact, a 2013 review of research showed that most studies found home-delivered meal programs significantly improved diet quality, improved nutrition and reduced food insecurity among participating seniors.)


Mulvaney also defended cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports local public TV and radio stations, saying that was “something I don’t think we can defend any more.”


And he reiterated his support for cuts to climate change research.


“We’re not spending money on that anymore,” he said. “We consider that to be a waste of your money.”


Presidential budgets never take effect unchanged, rather serve as a messaging platform to Congress and the American people. The White House has been working to deconstruct what chief strategy Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state” and Trump’s budget certainly is in line with that aim. The Trump Administration is making the spending cuts in part to pay for a $54 billion increase to the defense budget.


But many provisions in the document are facing an icy reception on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers will have ultimate authority in crafting the government’s budget for fiscal year 2018.”


The battle begins. Even to conservative for Conservatives, but a great start. Each one now can be argued and debated.


Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives


March 16, 2017


Dear Mr. Speaker:


I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed appropriations request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.  The request includes an additional $30 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces and accelerate the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and an additional $3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for urgent border protection activities.


This appropriations request would provide $24.9 billion in the DOD base budget for urgent warfighting readiness needs and to begin a sustained effort to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces.  The request seeks to address critical budget shortfalls in personnel, training, maintenance, equipment, munitions, modernization, and infrastructure investment.  It represents a critical first step in investing in a larger, more ready, and more capable military force.


The request also includes $5.1 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations budget for DOD to accelerate the campaign to defeat ISIS and support Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan.  This request would enable DOD to pursue a comprehensive strategy to end the threat ISIS poses to the United States.


In addition, this appropriations request would provide an additional $3 billion for DHS implementation of my executive orders on border security and immigration enforcement.  The request would fund efforts to plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, and make other critical investments in tactical border infrastructure and technology.  The request also proposes funding to increase immigration detention capacity, which is necessary to ensure the removal of illegal aliens from the United States.  Finally, the request funds new recruiting capacity at DHS so that it may hire additional immigration law enforcement officers and agents.


In conjunction with this request, I recommend that the Congress enact non-defense discretionary reductions of $18 billion in FY 2017, which would fully offset the amounts proposed for DHS and would offset half of the amounts proposed for DOD.


The details of this proposal are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.







“Senate confirms Callista Gingrich as U.S. Ambassador to Vatican

Reuters – 10/16/2017


The U.S. Senate on Monday voted to confirm President Donald Trump's nomination of Callista Gingrich to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.


Gingrich, 51, an author, documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, is the wife of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, a vocal Trump ally.


Her nomination was approved on a 70-23 vote.


Gingrich's nomination to the post at the Holy See in May caused some controversy because of her marriage to Gingrich, with whom she became involved when he was still married to his second wife. Gingrich is Roman Catholic.


Gingrich may need to smooth over relations with Pope Francis, who has criticized the Trump administration's positions on the environment and immigration.


(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by James Dalgleish; Editing by Dan Grebler, David Alexander and Eric Walsh)”


Trump shows America is through being a chump in Asia

FOX News  - Christian Whiton  – 11/06/2017


“As President Trump makes his first official trip to East Asia, one crucial development is clear to those who look closely: America and its allies are through being chumps.  This simple change in course—missed by a media and policy elite blinded by its hatred of Trump—will reverse trends that have been running against the free world in Asia.


In South Korea, Trump will give a major speech that is clear about the consequences for North Korea as it threatens our allies and us.  Twenty-five years of failed policy toward Pyongyang through administrations of both parties are over.  The free world is through playing the patsy.  


In China, Trump will make it clear in private that we will no longer accept Beijing’s unfulfilled promises about pressuring its client state in North Korea to reform.  He has conveyed as much publicly on Twitter.  We will judge Beijing by its actions—especially whether it really curbs its still-massive trade relationship with Pyongyang.  In public, the atmospherics will be more cordial, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross along to ink business deals.  


In Vietnam at a multinational economic conference, Trump will be a voice for fair trade that doesn’t disadvantage America.  No longer will Washington cut deals that export U.S. manufacturing jobs to poor countries and enable China’s systematic theft of U.S. intellectual property.   


In the Philippines, Trump will pursue common interests in containing China and thwarting resurgent Islamists across maritime Southeast Asia.  Other members of the U.S. delegation will privately convey concerns about human rights while Trump builds a relationship with Rodrigo Duterte, the eccentric president with an anti-U.S. but pragmatic background.  


In Japan, where Trump is concluding his first of five stops in Asia, one of the by-products of his first year as president is increasingly apparent.  A recently reelected Shinzo Abe—Japan’s most powerful prime minister in decades—continues to normalize Tokyo’s political and defense postures so they resemble those of other key allies.  Japan already pays $1.6 billion annually to defray the costs of U.S. forces stationed here, and Abe wants to buy offensive missiles and missile-defense systems from America—something to which Trump will likely agree.  Trump will also encourage Abe’s effort to make Japan’s pacifist postwar constitution more flexible to defend against China and North Korea.  


The Japanese prime minister has communicated the clearest description of the new allied approach to North Korea: that Pyongyang must be pressured to come to the negotiating table as a supplicant who has all but cried uncle.  Barring that, the allies will not attempt, yet again, to buy off North Korea from a position of weakness or desperation.  This new approach is the strongest allied policy in Asia since the Cold War. 


Abe deserves credit for his leadership, but change to this degree would not have been possible without strong backing from the American president.  Nor would the leftwing government in South Korea have been deterred from its natural inclination to appease North Korea and negotiate at any price were it not for the strong, plain-spoken man occupying the Oval Office.  


Throughout the trip, Trump will continue to build out his restoration of America’s traditional foreign policy—which forcefully advocates our key security and economic interests while avoiding sideshow entanglements and antagonisms.  Trump has also restored our key alliances with countries that matter the most.  What this restoration does is give our allies the political space they need to be good allies—on clear display as the U.S., Japan, and South Korea act in unison.  (On the other side of world, we see this same dynamic at play with the Saudi crown prince’s recently stated decision to turn against the Islamists.)


Of course, there is more to this foreign policy than stern verbiage about defense and diplomacy.  Unlike tough talk from his predecessors, including the supposed military pivot to Asia of the early Obama years, when in fact our navy and air force were being hollowed, allies now see clearly that our economy and military will grow much stronger under Trump.  Not coincidentally, three aircraft carriers, each a symbol of American military might, are present in the Pacific for the first time since 2007 during Trump’s trip.  


U.S. economic growth steadily above 3 percent also helps after a lost decade of economic stagnation.  If sustained, it will make Trump’s 2020 reelection all but inevitable and further augment his ability to shape the world.  All of these are real-world factors that make Trump’s words matter more than those of his predecessors.


These developments are noticed in Asia by those who are our friends and those who are not.  The free world is coming back in the Pacific with restored confidence and capability.


Trump wants $4 bln more for missile defense, citing North Korea

Reuters - Patricia Zengerle  – 11/06/2017


“U.S. President Donald Trump asked Congress on Monday for $4 billion to support missile defense to counter the threat from North Korea, just ahead of his first visit to South Korea since taking office in January.


"This request supports additional efforts to detect, defeat, and defend against any North Korean use of ballistic missiles against the United States, its deployed forces, allies, or partners," Trump wrote in a letter to Congress.


Trump repeated his request that Congress provide $1.6 billion to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. Trump's plan to construct the wall was a centerpiece of his successful presidential campaign, but it has been questioned by some of his fellow Republicans, as well as most Democrats, in Congress.


He made his request during his maiden trip to Asia as president, featuring repeated meetings with regional partners and others largely focused on how to address North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.


Trump had originally asked for $9.9 billion for the year ended Sept. 30, 2018, for missile defense, which some lawmakers had dismissed as too low.


Trump's request included $700,000 to repair damage to Navy ships after recent fatal collisions, and $1.2 billion for increased troop levels in Afghanistan and the administration's South Asia strategy in his supplemental budget request.


The budget request said the funds for South Asia would support the deployment of 3,500 more troops.


The Republican leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives Armed Services Committees, Senator John McCain and Representative Mac Thornberry, said in a joint statement that they welcomed Trump's request and looked forward "to giving it the serious consideration it deserves."


Members of the two committees are working on a final version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which sets out policy for the Pentagon.


McCain and Thornberry said the submission of the budget amendment before that work was completed means that NDAA conferees will be able to consider whether to incorporate the additional funding into the final agreement.


“This request also underscores the threat posed by the rogue North Korean regime and the urgent need to boost our missile defense capabilities to meet it," McCain and Thornberry said in a statement.


The $2.1 billion for missile defense makes up the bulk of the request. It would pay for 20 more missiles that could intercept incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) launched from North Korea, a network of radars, and other equipment designed to protect the United States.


Boeing Co is the prime contractor for the anti-ballistic missiles, known as Ground-Based Interceptors, and Raytheon Co makes the missile's "kill vehicle," which pops off the top of the defending missile above the earth's atmosphere and seeks out and destroys the attacking missile's warhead.


The request also includes money for 50 Lockheed Martin Corp-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors. The United States has THAAD interceptors in Guam that guard against any intermediate-range ballistic missile attacks from North Korea. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Dan Grebler and James Dalgleish


The president is winning. China's president, that is.

USA TODAY - Brian Klaas   – 11/06/2017


BANGKOK — In May 2016, Donald Trump promised a lot of winning. “We're going to win so much,” he said, “you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning." And "you’ll say, ‘Please, Mr. President, we beg you sir, we don’t want to win anymore. It’s too much.' "

He turned out to be right. We just didn’t know at the time that the "Mr. President" he was talking about was President Xi Jinping of China.


As Trump makes his diplomatic tour of Asia, the West faces a simple and unfortunate reality. There are four powers in the world that are strong enough to meaningfully shape global affairs: the United States, the United Kingdom/European Union, Russia and China.


Europe and Britain are turning inward, battling the self-inflicted wound of Brexit and trying to minimize the damage from illiberal populism in Hungary and Poland. The U.S. under Trump has taken a transactional, short-term view of diplomacy that willfully cedes U.S. influence and leverage — except on a narrow band of issues near and dear to Trump.


These simultaneous trends mean that the West is smashing its geopolitical might on the anvil of its own foolishness. The authoritarian regimes in China and Russia are gleefully picking up the pieces.


Here in Bangkok, it’s striking how everyone I talk to — from generals in the country’s ruling military junta to even the most liberal-minded political party leaders — says the same thing off the record: China is the new power. Trump’s America is waning. And we can extract what we need from him using flattery without giving up anything meaningful.


I spoke to a former Thai foreign minister, for example, who told me that Trump sees Thailand exclusively through the lens of helping to put pressure on North Korea. As a result, the message Trump gave to the military junta was simple: Get in line and help us isolate North Korea. The problem? Thailand already was happy to do so.


Even though Thailand’s military regime has recently arrested journalists and forced an elected head of state into exile, Trump happily gave the regime international legitimacy and a full White House visit in October (a diplomatic victory that President Obama had correctly denied the junta since it took power in a 2014 coup d’état). That diplomatic legitimacy is worth a huge amount to Thailand’s generals. It was a major bargaining chip. Trump threw it away in exchange for Thailand agreeing to buy an infinitesimal 155,000 tons of American coal — which accounts for 0.02% of the U.S. coal production.Quite the Art of the Deal.


Thailand is drastically ramping upmilitary purchasing and infrastructure deals with China. It is eyeing more long-term trade engagement with Beijing, particularly now that Trump’s decision to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement has created far more uncertainty. In the past, Thailand’s government might have worried more that these moves would alienate the United States. After all, Thailand is America’s oldest ally in the region. But under Trump, Beijing is accelerating a long-term shift as it peels Bangkok away from the orbit of Washington.


Of course, Thailand is only a mid-level player in the region. But it’s a microcosm of a broader long-term trend across Southeast Asia. And with Trump, can we really pretend to be surprised?


Xi is seasoned, capable, calculating. Trump is inexperienced, incompetent, impulsive. Xi thinks 10 years into the future; Trump thinks about 10 seconds ahead.


During his visit this week, citizens in this part of the world are being exposed to Trump's unthinkable and unthinking ignorance of their region’s politics. According to a report in The Japan Times on the North Korea nuclear threat, Trump “could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles.”


Aside from being ignorant of Japan’s political culture as an overtly pacifist nation, the samurai warrior line is cringe-worthy. Perhaps Trump could also inquire whether geishas could use their fans to blow away the missiles, or whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could just find the right Pokéball to contain Kim Jong Un?


Xi doesn’t make such idiotic comments. And there are clear signs that Xi, like Thailand’s government, has figured out that China can keep chipping away at American diplomatic power in the region, so long as he indulges Trump’s ego. It’s clearly working. Even though China is no friend to U.S. interests, and despite the fact that Xi is arguably China’s most authoritarian leader since Mao, Trump can’t stop praising him.


“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also,” Trump said in a recent Fox News interview. “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president.”


Thanks, Mr. President, for that helpful explainer.


Unfortunately, I fear that with such an unfair and lopsided fight between President Xi and President Trump, historians are going to use this week’s Asia trip to explain how America lost Asian allies on the geopolitical chess board — and how China turned them into pawns.

Brian Klaas, a fellow in comparative politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is author of The Despot’s Apprentice: Donald Trump’s Attack on Democracy, coming Nov. 14. Follow him on Twitter: @brianklaas




2017 U. S. Budget News