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Trump budget would boost defense spending, offset with cuts to domestic programs

President Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Feb. 24, 2017.

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Last Updated Feb 27, 2017 3:31 PM EST

President Trump’s first federal budget proposal to Congress will call for a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which would be entirely offset with $54 billion in cuts to domestic programs, an official at the Office of Management and Budget told reporters Monday.

As a result, the official said that “most” agencies would see spending cuts. The official declined to detail which agencies would be targeted when he was specifically asked about cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. The official added that programs related to “security” would not be affected. Part of the non-defense spending cut would involve a “large reduction in foreign aid,” the official added. At this point, the U.S. plans to spend $36.5 billion on foreign aid in 2017.

On Sunday, OMB communications director John Czwartacki told CBS News’ Major Garrett that the budget blueprint, which is to be released in mid-March, would only contain only discretionary spending targets. The budget itself, which will be released later, will include tax proposals. 

During remarks to governors in the White House State Dining Room Monday morning, Mr. Trump highlighted his budget plans to increase defense spending and slash spending in other areas. He also reiterated his goal to invest in infrastructure.

Details of the budget proposal come a day before the president is set to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday night.

Even with these steep cuts to domestic programs, it could face some opposition even in the GOP-controlled House and Senate.

President Obama had always called for equal increases between defense and non-defense spending. The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Veterans Affairs do not fall into the defense spending category; they are considered non-defense spending.

In order to implement Mr. Trump’s spending plan, Congress would almost certainly have to pass a new budget deal by late September to lift spending limits put in place by a 2011 law. President Obama signed the last budget deal in November 2015, which raised spending caps through September 2017. This could come right around the time that Congress would also have to deal with raising the debt limit before the risk of default. The ceiling is suspending through March 15, and the Treasury Department will be able to rely on so-called extraordinary measures for several more months afterward.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, met with Mr. Trump on Monday afternoon and they said they received the topline numbers, but haven’t even process them yet.

CBS News’ Jillian Hughes contributed to this report.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.