On Monday, President Donald Trump instructed federal agencies to assemble a new budget for the upcoming fiscal year that would include steep increases in spending by the Department of Defense and drastic cuts for many domestic agencies so he can maintain one of his campaign promises not to touch Medicare and Social Security, said four senior officials in the White House.
The outline of his budget is Trump’s first move this week in an attempt to reset what has been turmoil-filled White House over the first 40 days of his presidency.
A day prior to an address that is high stakes on Tuesday to a full Congress, Trump is demanding a budget that has billions of dollars of reductions for the State Department and Environmental Agency said the four officials aware of Trump’s plan.
Preliminary outlines for budgets are normally administrative exercises that go unnoticed as they are the first step in the negotiations between federal agencies and the White House that usually help to shave the sharpest edges from the first request.
However, this plan, which is a collaboration between Mick Mulvaney, the Budget and Office of Management Director; Gary Cohn the director of the National Economic Council; and Stephen Bannon the chief strategist at the White House, is intended to create a huge splash for the president who is eager to show he is all action.
The top advisers to Trump were huddled all weekend at the White House to work on his address for prime time on Tuesday.
The group focused on a single message that is often overlooked amidst all the chaos of Trump’s first five weeks in office: the assertion the candidate from reality television is now the U.S. president that is determined to maintain his campaign promises on the economy, the budget and immigration regardless of how disruptive or sloppy it appears to those on the outside.
One top Trump campaign strategist said that people might not be in agreement with all you do, but they will respect you if you do what you said you would do.
The budget outline, a sketch that probably will be significantly altered by Senate and House Republicans and opposed vociferously by Democrats in both chambers will be the first giant step by Trump into a legislative battle he has avoided largely over the six weeks he has been in office.