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Trump 2018 Budget Seeks Major Cuts To Popular Social Programs, Foreign Aid

U.S. President Donald Trump (file photo)

The Trump administration on May 23 officially presented its proposed U.S. budget for the 2018 fiscal year, with $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years by slashing many popular social programs such as healthcare and food assistance that help the poor.

The budget features $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid and more than $192 billion from food stamps, as well as lower spending for other so-called "safety net" programs such as college loans and federal employee pension benefits, along with a more than 29 percent reduction in diplomacy, foreign aid, and programs abroad.

To make up for the reduced spending in foreign assistance for global health programs such as for HIV/AIDS, the president’s proposal, which seeks to balance the budget by the end of the decade, says it expects other donors to increase their commitments in the sector.

Farm subsidies will also be slashed, with some $46.5 billion being lopped off federal funding for the agriculture sector, including new limits on support for crop insurance premiums and caps for commodity payments.

Meanwhile, the budget proposal includes a $54 billion increase in military spending and $1.6 billion in the fiscal year 2018 to start the construction of a border wall with Mexico.

The presentation of the budget is another step in the long process. The budget must still go through Congress, and major changes are expected, even though Trump’s Republicans control both houses.

Congress must pass a spending bill by September 30, the end of the fiscal year, to avoid a government shutdown.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, New York Times, and Bloomberg
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