The provocative budget President Donald Trump offered on Thursday presents him with a daunting new challenge: persuading not just reluctant Republicans, but also hostile Democrats.
His odds of prevailing are bleak.
The principal initiative of what aides call an "America First" spending plan is boosting defense outlays by $54 billion while cutting the same amount from nondefense programs. To achieve that goal, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says the budget will request, for example, cuts of 28 percent in State Department spending and roughly 25 percent in the Environmental Protection Agency.
"This is a hard-power budget, it is not a soft-power budget," Mulvaney said at a briefing for reporters. The goal of the spending blueprint is to impose Trump's priorities without increasing the fiscal 2018 deficit and the national debt.