Expect the budget and economic update to be both more expansive than last year’s and smaller than President Trump’s first proposal. President Trump’s budget language, for example, could have called for an 11 percent spending increase over last year. But Mr. Trump said last week that he will not increase federal spending for federal departments, so he will leave those requests to Congress. He also highlighted cuts in particular areas of government spending. For example, he wants to cut $12 billion from the Postal Service, a proposal that would reduce services and extend hours in 30 percent of the post offices. The administration also wants to cut an average of $20 billion annually from each of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Treasury, Transportation, Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Democrats and moderate Republicans have said that these cuts could undermine a defense buildup and mop up deficits that could have otherwise raised public ire.
The President did, however, do something to calm Democratic Party fears about the border wall. He declared a “national emergency” in order to build the wall, which Democrats had accused him of dragging them into. Several congressional Democrats had talked about suing to block Mr. Trump’s declaration, but the impeachment musings have since moved off the table. A judge will decide whether Mr. Trump’s move is legal by May 25.
The stock market climbed on news of the declaration, helping to ease some of the anxiety over that aspect of the budget.
The devil is in the details, however. That will be a key part of getting the President and Congress to meet in the middle.