The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Thursday released the Trump administration's "skinny budget," a preliminary proposal for the federal government's fiscal 2018 discretionary spending, which the administration will fill out later in the spring with tax and mandatory spending proposals. 

"America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again," as the OMB titled the document, makes little change to the overall level of discretionary spending, decreasing it by $2.7 billion or 0.3% to $1.07 trillion. Discretionary spending makes up a relatively small proportion of total federal outlays: in fiscal 2017 (which ends September 30) mandatory spending on programs such as Social Security and Medicare are projected to exceed $2.5 trillion. 

While the overall level of discretionary spending hardly changes under Trump's proposed budget, the changes in funding to individual departments and agencies are enormous. The Department of Defense, already the biggest recipient of discretionary funding, will receive a $52.3 billion or 10% boost to $574 billion under Trump's proposal. In his introduction to the budget, the president wrote, "A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority –
because without safety, there can be no prosperity."  Proposed military spending outside of the Pentagon brings the total to $54 billion.

The money for this increased defense spending comes from cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services (-$12.6 billion); aid programs run by USAID, the State Department and the Treasury (-$10.9 billion); the Department of Education (-$9.2 billion) and other departments and agencies.

While these are the largest cuts in dollar terms, the programs that will see the most severe cuts in percentage terms are the Environmental Protection Agency (-31.4%); USAID and related programs (-28.7%); the Department of Labor (-20.7%) and the Department of Agriculture (-20.7%).

"Make no mistake about it," OMB director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Thursday, "this is a hard-power budget, not a soft-power budget."

Aside from the Pentagon, the Department of Veterans Affairs ($4.4 billion) and the Department of Homeland Security ($2.8 billion) will receive the largest boosts to their budgets in absolute terms. Of the extra funds proposed for Homeland Security, $2.6 billion would be invested in "high-priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology," including the border wall Trump promised during the campaign and ordered to be constructed on January 25.

Proposed cuts to the EPA include defunding the Clean Power Plan, which EPA administrator Scott Pruitt sued to block as Oklahoma attorney general. Pruitt sued the EPA over a dozen times prior to becoming its head, and in the majority of cases he listed utilities and energy companies that had donated to his campaigns as co-plaintiffs. 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson resisted Trump's efforts to slash the government's foreign aid budget; Trump had originally planned to slash the State Department's budget by 37%, according to the New York Times. The budget does increase aid in at least one case, providing an "all-time high" $3.1 billion in security assistance to Israel. James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, told Congress in 2013, "If you don't fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately."

The proposed budget lists 19 programs it would defund completely, including the African Development Foundation, the Chemical Safety Board, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.

It is not certain that Trump will be able to get his budget through Congress in anything like its current form. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has previously said Republicans would not accept large State Department cuts, and Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina, called the proposal "dead on arrival" when the administration outlined its budget plans in February.

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