Trump Proposes More Money for Nukes, Border Security

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr

AA Font size + Print

Dubbed a “hard-power” budget by administration officials, the 2018 spending plan includes money for a controversial border wall.

President Donald Trump will unveil a budget plan Thursday that includes money for his controversial wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and an uptick in funding for nuclear weapons.

The spending plan, as outlined last month, would increase defense spending by $54 billion and cut other government agencies by the same amount.

“This is a hard-power budget. That was done intentionally,” Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Wednesday. “The president very clearly wants to send a message to our allies and our potential adversaries that this is a strong-power administration.”

The Trump administration will roll out two budget plans on Thursday: one that amends the Obama administration’s 2017 spending plan, and another for fiscal 2018, which begins on Oct. 1. The updated 2017 plan includes a $30 billion supplemental fund for “defense and primarily border” security, Mulvaney said. More detailed budget information, including program specifics and five-year projections, is expected in May.

Under Trump’s proposal, money would shift from foreign aid projects into military and security programs. As well, Mulvaney revealed that the $54 billion increase would go not just toward Pentagon programs, but also defense-related spending in other departments.

For example, the Energy Department would see an uptick in spending “for the nuclear triad,” Mulvaney said. The department oversees the development and maintenance of nuclear warheads.

Expect a $573 billion base budget request from the Pentagon, according to Jim McAleese, of the McAleese and Associates consulting firm, who wrote a note to clients this week. Add to that the roughly $30 billion in defense-related spending at Energy and that totals the $603 billion that Mulvaney last month said would be requested for defense.

Mulvaney said the Department of Homeland Security’s budget would see a 6 percent increase under the Trump plan, which includes $4.1 billion for the southern border wall: $1.5 billion in the 2017 supplemental and $2.6 billion in 2018.

The “funding provides for a couple of different pilot cases…different kinds of barriers in different kinds of places as we try to find the most cost-efficient, the safest and also the most effective border protections,” Mulvaney said. “They may be different in different areas.”

Homeland Security requested $66.8 billion in 2017. Congress has yet to pass a full-year 2017 appropriations bill, limiting government spending to 2016 levels.

While Mulvaney did not give details about cuts that are reportedly being eyed to the Coast Guard, he said a “leak about a proposed discontinuation of a cutter is not accurate.”

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.