Trump Plan Postpones Balanced Budget Despite Deep Spending Cuts

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The U.S. Department of Education released President Donald Trump's 2020 budget request Monday, which includes an experimental teacher voucher program.

President Trump's budget proposal for 2020 calls for $8.6 billion in new border wall funding, a signal that the White House is not backing away from its demand that triggered a 35-day government shutdown.

Donald Trump's acting budget chief on Monday heralded the president's 2020 spending proposal, which looks set to revive his border wall fight with Congress while advocating steep spending cuts to environmental protection and key social safety net programs, as a "return to fiscal sanity".

The initial rollout lacks details on individual programs, which are anticipated to be delivered later this month.

Congressional Democrats and Republicans "are highly motivated" to reach another two-year budget deal and "the chances are good there will be another negotiated budget outcome", said Thornberry of Texas.

The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan arm of Congress, in January pushed out its projections for the deficit to top $1 trillion until 2022 from an earlier expectation of 2020 amid lower disaster relief spending.

The deficit in the last fiscal year was $779 billion, or 3.9 percent of GDP. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said he would not cut Medicare or Social Security, the retirement program for the elderly, but his budget a year ago also included a proposed cut of more than $550 billion to the program. He also told "Fox News Sunday" that there was no reason to "obsess" about deficits, and expressed confidence that economic growth would top 3 percent in 2019 and beyond. The plan would aim balance the budget by 2034, the official said.

Last year, the president proposed a $4.4 trillion budget for 2019. It now stands at more than $USD22 trillion.

Appropriators reached a deal a year ago whereby they paired a Pentagon spending bill with its counterpart for labor, health and human services, education, and related agencies - a possible way forward now, Thornberry said.

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"President Trump's budget takes steps in the right direction, but there is still much work to do", said Steve Womack, a Republican from Arkansas who sits on the House Budget Committee.

Separately, Mr Kudlow expressed optimism that United States economic growth will surpass three per cent "in 2019 and beyond".

There are signs the US economy, which grew at a 2.9 percent pace previous year, is slowing.

Trump's budget will likely face stiff opposition from Democrats, particularly for its focus on border security.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement Sunday they hoped the president had "learned his lesson" from the shutdown, caused partly by Congress' refusal in December to pay $5 billion toward Trump's border wall.

"The same thing will repeat itself if he tries this again", said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

The House voted February 26 to block the emergency declaration, and enough Republicans have said they'll also vote against it for it to pass in the Senate.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow acknowledged that the budget's reported spending cuts and spike in border wall funding could result in another ugly fight between the White House and Capitol Hill.

However, Trump's plan would prolong federal deficits, with the administration estimating it would put the US on track for a balanced budget by 2034. Of that $478 million would go toward hiring "1,750 additional Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) law enforcement officers". Defense officials have promised lawmakers they will seek to backfill those funds, and there is a $9.2 billion "emergency requirements" line item "to address border security and hurricane recovery", the budget says.

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