Trump’s Aggressive Budget Blueprint

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20 Mar 2017 --- US President Donald Trump has set out his “America First” budget proposal which involves massive cuts worth around US$54 billion to non-defense services including the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Tweeting “A budget that puts #AmericaFirst must make safety its No.1 priority - without safety there can be no prosperity,” Trump announced his US$1 trillion budget proposal last week which includes investment for the border wall with Mexico and big boosts for military spending, while seriously slashing a variety of other services and departments. 

The budget plans, which have to be approved by Congress, have come under fire receiving heavy criticism from the Democrats and Trump’s fellow Republicans. 

Funding for the US Agency for International Development - a department which fights poverty and promotes human rights in foreign countries - could be reduced by around 28%.

Other foreign aid would also be cut and the same is true for money distributed to the United Nations and institutions like the World Bank which reduces poverty in developing countries by supporting their economic growth. Over three years, according to the proposal, these types of organizations would see cuts worth approximately US$650 million. 

Programs supporting climate change and clean energy research look set to get a battering with the EPA proposed to be reduced by 31% which amounts to around US$2.6 billion. The proposed budget backs up Trump’s pre-election pledge to cut payments to UN climate change programs and eliminate all US funding to the Green Climate Fund. 

Meanwhile, the USDA faces significant cuts as Trump proposes a 21% decrease in discretionary spending as the Budget would see around US$17.9 billion shaved off the organization’s funding. 

The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program - which helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe, looks set to be cut amidst concerns that it is not effectively reducing food insecurity. 

Congress must pass the budget before anything takes effect. 

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