White House Spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on February 9 that the Trump Administration will submit a budget blueprint to Congress “within a few weeks.” Lawmakers and other observers had speculated that the Administration might forgo submitting a budget request and instead submit a comprehensive financial package later in the spring.
It is unclear when Congress will begin budget deliberations for FY18. Lawmakers must first complete spending bills for the rest of FY17 which runs until September 30. The government is currently operating on a stopgap funding measure (Continuing Resolution) that expires on April 28.
The statutory deadline for the president to submit a FY18 budget was February 6, but that deadline has been missed consistently in recent years, especially when a new president begins his term. The Administration will most likely provide a “skinny budget,” a high-level budget outline new presidents typically submit when they first take office, rather than a comprehensive executive branch budget.
Mr. Spicer suggested the Administration’s budget plan would reduce deficits through a combination of spending cuts and economic growth that would increase tax revenues. “When it comes to deficit reduction, which is something (Mr. Trump) is very interested in, it is not a one-side-of-the-ledger option,” Mr. Spicer said. “The president has been very, very keen on trying to make sure that we look at the revenue side as much as we look at the spending side.”
Mr. Spicer was asked if overhauling entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare would be part of the president’s plan to balance the budget, but Mr. Spicer demurred: “I think that (the budget outline) will answer a lot.”
A number of independent budget analyses, including one by the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, have cast doubt on the assertion that economic growth could pay for Mr. Trump’s many campaign promises, including trillions of dollars of tax cuts over a decade, increases in military and veterans’ spending, and the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.