2018-10-17 — usatoday.com
``. After approving the $1.3 trillion budget plan Congress sent him in March, Trump threatened he will "never sign another bill like this again."
Trump's ask comes as the Treasury Department reports that the federal budget deficit rose this year to $779 billion. That amounts to a 17 percent increase over the previous year, and is the highest deficit in six years.
Trump has previously called for deep, double-digit percentage reductions for some federal departments that were rejected by Congress. His first proposed budget last year included the complete elimination of 62 agencies, which lawmakers ignored.
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But the president has also come under fire on two fronts recently: Conservatives have grown increasingly restive about budget deficits, an issue that has received far less attention from Republicans lately than it did during the Obama administration.
Trump has also blamed Democrats in Congress for seeking increased spending on domestic programs in exchange for Trump's desire to build up the military. Unwilling to threaten a shutdown before the midterm election, Trump has indicated in recent weeks that he felt compelled to go along with spending bills to secure his desired increases for the Pentagon.
Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested that the rising deficit was the "dire consequences of irresponsible and unnecessary spending."
But a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, released earlier this month, said tax cuts Congress approved last year partially led to the deficit jump.
Budget analysts said Trump's demand is very unlikely, and would have little impact on the budget deficit in any event.
Stan Collender, a professor of public policy at Georgetown University, said if you cut the entire annual federal budget by 5%, it would be only $200 billion to $300 billion -- and the federal budget deficit for next year is projected at $1.1 trillion.
Trump has bragged about his defense hikes, and presumably isn't interested in cutting that budget, Collender noted. And he hasn't said anything about reducing the real drivers of federal spending, entitlement spending like Social Security and Medicare.
"This really shows Trump is not ready is not ready for prime time," Collender said.
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