May 30, 2017

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Trump Releases 2018 Budget Request

On May 23, 2017, President Donald Trump released his fiscal 2018 budget request, which calls for $668 billion in defense spending (coming in $22 billion above current levels) and $479 billion for non-defense programs. The White House proposed cutting funding for all federal departments outside of the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.

Proposed FY 2018 Budget

At a White House news briefing, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Mick Mulvaney framed the request as a “taxpayer first” budget that would trim federal spending and reinvigorate the economy with a combination of tax cuts and deregulation. In the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Secretary Tom Price, MD commented that the budget is focused “on making strategic investments to protect the health and well-being of all Americans.”

“We are releasing today a budget that outlines a clear path toward fiscal responsibility by creating efficiencies that both improve services and save money,” said Price. “We are taking action to address our collapsing healthcare system and provide relief from the burdensome rules and mandates of Obamacare. Remember, Americans living in one-third of our nation’s counties now have only one option and no choices for health coverage. Premiums continue to rise. More money isn’t the answer; replacing a broken system is. The President’s budget answers the call to fix what’s wrong in Washington. We look forward to working with Congress to implement these important first steps toward patient-centered healthcare and creating a system that is sustainable, innovative, flexible and responsive.”

Republicans largely praised Trump’s efforts, with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) saying the proposal “prioritizes American taxpayers over bureaucrats in Washington, while making our military stronger so we can face the threats of a modern world.” Still, many GOP legislators have emphasized that funding decisions ultimately lie with them, not the administration.

“I hope that people don’t panic over the president’s — any president’s — budget,” Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi (R-WY), said last week. “They’re just suggestions.”