Speed Reads

not like a regular budget

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney explains President Trump's proposal is a 'hard power' budget

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Wednesday he'd describe President Trump's 2018 proposal as a "hard power budget." "It is not a soft power budget," Mulvaney said. “This is a hard power budget and that was done intentionally."

Trump's budget plan unveiled Thursday morning proposes a $54 billion boost in defense spending, as well as an increase in border security spending. "The president very clearly wants to send a message to our allies and our potential adversaries that this is strong power administration," Mulvaney said. He noted the budget will likely include "a request for $1.5 billion as the first installment for Trump's promised wall" on the U.S.-Mexico border.

To offset the Trump administration's renewed focus on defense, the budget calls for deep cuts to most federal agencies' budgets. The Environmental Protection Agency's budget will be slashed by as much as 30 percent, though Mulvaney claimed Wednesday the "core functions of the EPA can be satisfied with this budget." John O'Grady, head of the union that represents EPA employees, said the EPA is "already on a starvation diet, with a bare-bones budget and staffing level." As for proposed cuts at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mulvaney said those were part of Trump's effort to "get rid of programs that don't work."

Trump's budget proposal has a slim chance of becoming reality, as Republican leaders have already indicated major parts of the blueprint would not survive Congress. Mulvaney said Trump will release a full budget in May, which will include a "10-year projection" on the border wall.