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Trump budget boosts military and border wall

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 11, 2019 - Duration: 02:29s

Trump budget boosts military and border wall

President Donald Trump on Monday called for spending more money on the military and a U.S.-Mexico border wall while overhauling social programs for the poor in a budget plan that sets the stage for his next fight with the U.S. Congress.

Nathan Frandino has more.

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Trump budget boosts military and border wall

$750 BILLION… that's how much President Donald Trump is proposing to Congress to pay for the ships, planes, bases, and troops that make up America's defense in the coming year.

Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought... (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSELL VOUGHT, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET ACTING DIRECTOR, SAYING: "This is not funding for endless wars.

This is for research and development and procurement to fund the most awe-inspiring military the world has ever known." It's the largest defense budgets ever proposed for U.S. forces and it comes as Trump is also calling for substantial cuts to domestic spending programs and asking for some $8.6 billion to build his contentious border wall with Mexico, setting up another fierce battle with Democrats.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSELL VOUGHT, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET ACTING DIRECTOR, SAYING: "Washington has a spending problem and it endangers the future prosperity of the nation for generations to come." Analysts say the budget - largely considered a wishlist - is unlikely to pass without major changes.

Trump's defense proposal is a sharp jump over last year's $716 billion defense budget and substantially more than the Pentagon had requested.

The increase falls in line with Trump's pledges to rebuild the military.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We will have the strongest military that we've ever had, and it won't even be close." The boost in military spending - as a counter to stronger Russian and Chinese forces - would come with the U.S. budget deficit at a six-year high.

White House officials say Trump wants to cut non-defense spending by an average of 5 percent.

Trump proposes cutting $1.9 trillion from mandatory programs over a decade, with the budget balancing over 15 years, far longer than the 10 years traditionally favored by Republicans.

The budget will also allocate more money for immigration enforcement, veterans' health and for fighting the opioid epidemic.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "The bottom line is we're building a lot of wall.

Right now we're building a lot of wall." Trump's budget request for the border wall is six times more than what Congress has given him in each of the past two years and some $3 billion more than the $5.7 billion lawmakers REJECTED in the last bruising budget battle.

The fight over border funding resulted in a five-week partial government shutdown this past winter and could touch off a sequel this fall.

The budget comes ahead of an October 1st deadline for keeping the government running but it comes with higher stakes this time, as it will coincide with the need to lifting the U.S. debt limit, with the national debt already topping $22 trillion.

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