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Trump Looks to Boost Pentagon Spending, Cut State Dept. Budget

  • VOA News

U.S. Army soldiers stand outside their armored vehicle on a joint base with Iraqi army south of Mosul, Iraq, Feb. 23, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump is kicking off the long federal budget process with proposals to increase defense spending, while making cuts to budgets for the State Department and other agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Administration officials say the White House is detailing its vision for federal spending in a memo to agencies on Monday.The Office of Management and Budget says a more complete budget outline is expected to be released in mid-March.

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly promised to boost the military, and in a speech Friday he pledged "one of the greatest military buildups in American history."

He has also said he would not seek cuts in programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Whatever the president proposes to agencies Monday will surely not be the final budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which begins in October.

Each agency will respond with arguments for what it thinks should be its budget, and ultimately it is up to Congress to vote on federal spending.

Trump is meeting Monday at the White House with House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.A day later, he addresses a joint session of Congress in a major speech six weeks into his presidency.

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