President Donald Trump called for deep cuts in environmental and safety net programs, billions more for his border wall and a huge boost for the military in a $4.75 trillion proposed 2020 budget that is unlikely to gain any traction in Congress.
Trump delivered his first budget under a divided government Monday, a road map that would not balance the books for 15 years despite billions in cuts. The proposal calls for $8.6 billion more for his border wall, a request Democrats immediately rejected.
Even before Democrats claimed control of the House in last year’s midterm election, similar proposals from Trump failed in Congress. The schism between the president’s wish list and the actual spending of taxpayer money only deepened after a dispute over the border wall led to a 35-day government shutdown that ended in January.
“This is not a serious proposal,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
Presidential budgets, required by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, have been widely viewed for decades as having more to do with politics than fiscal policy. With the 2020 election already underway, the document gives the president an opportunity to lay out a vision for the country that he can trumpet to his supporters.