Trump 'seeks $54bn increase' in military budget

Proposal, which could entail big cuts in foreign aid and spending on domestic agencies, to fulfil key campaign promise.

    Donald Trump has reportedly proposed an increase in the 2018 US defence budget by $54bn while imposing funding cuts to other domestic programmes and foreign aid.

    Administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity at the White House's insistence, spoke about the bid to boost military spending by about 10 percent on Monday, the same day that Trump promised a "historic" increase in the defence budget.

    "This budget follows through on my promise on keeping Americans safe ... It will include a historic increase in budget spending," Trump said as he met state governors at the White House.

    The Pentagon's budget increase would fulfil a Trump campaign promise to build up the military.

    A senior budget office official said there will be a large reduction in foreign aid and that most domestic agencies will have to absorb cuts, without offering more details.

    Tentative proposals for the 2018 budget year that begins on October 1 are being sent to agencies, which will have a chance to propose changes to the cuts as part of a long-standing tradition at the budget office.

    Trump's budget, once finalised and sent to Congress in mid-March, is expected to set off a major political debate in Washington, DC.

    Democrats and some Republicans are certain to resist the cuts to domestic agencies and any legislation to implement them would have to overcome a filibuster threat by Senate Democrats.

    Upcoming blueprint

    According to an administration official, Trump's budget also will not make significant changes to Social Security or Medicare.

    Capitol Hill aides confirmed details of the upcoming blueprint on the condition of anonymity to discuss information that has not yet been made public.

    Trump's first major initiative will land in the agencies one day before his first address to a joint session of Congress.

    For Trump, the prime-time speech is an opportunity to refocus his young presidency on the core economic issues that were a centrepiece of his White House run.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.