On Thursday, the Trump administration introduced a controversial $1.1 trillion budget proposal. In addition to calling for an extra $54 billion to be directed to the Pentagon, the budget allocates $1.5 billion for the border wall, plus $2.6 billion more for the following fiscal year.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the Agriculture Department, and the State Department will all face dramatic cuts under Trump’s plan, and several independent agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Legal Services Corporation, will have their funding eliminated altogether.
It’s not surprising that a budget that prioritizes defense spending over environmental protections and public programs has been frowned upon by Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said about Trump’s proposed budget on Thursday:
‘Once again the Trump administration is showing its true colors: talk like a populist but govern like a special interests zealot. The very programs that most help the middle class are those that get clobbered the hardest: investments in infrastructure, education, scientific research that leads to cures for diseases all take big hits.’
Democrats are not alone in opposing the budget, though. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), who has long been a critic of President Trump and his administration, announced in a statement on Thursday that, as is, the budget “cannot pass the Senate.”
Although Trump has described his budget as one that “puts America first” to “make the safety of our people its number one priority,” McCain actually argued in his statement that the amount the budget has reserved for total defense spending ($603 billion) is not “sufficient to rebuild the military.”
McCain went on to say that the total defense budget needs to be increased to “$640 billion in fiscal year 2018” and added that “sustained increases for years to come are needed to rebuild our military, restore military readiness, and modernize our forces.”
The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee went on to detail the numerous problems he feels the military currently faces and argued that the government must “ensure our troops have the support, training, and resources they need to accomplish difficult missions around the world.”
‘Today, two-thirds of Navy F-18s can’t fly; Marine Corps pilots are flying less hours per month than their Russian and Chinese counterparts; Air Force maintainers are stealing parts from museum pieces to keep their planes in the air; and just two of 60 Army brigade combat teams are at the highest level of readiness.’
At the end of his statement, McCain made it clear Trump’s budget could not pass without some serious modifications. He also encouraged everyone to work together to reach a “bipartisan agreement that provides sufficient funds to rebuild the military” because “failure to do so will only lead to more political dysfunction that has inflicted such harm on our men and women in uniform over the past six years.”
McCain, a prominent Republican, strongly objects to the budget as is; however, Trump still has people in his corner. House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement on Thursday welcoming the budget that “turns the page from the last eight years.”
Read the full budget proposal, “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” here.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.