President Trump on Wednesday asked members of his Cabinet to cut their departments’ budgets by 5 percent in what he dubbed the “nickel plan.”
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“I am going to ask each of you to come back with a 5 percent budget cut from your various departments,” Trump said during a meeting, adding that the cuts will “get rid of the fat and waste” in the federal government. “I think you'll all be able to do it.”
The request expands on Trump’s “penny plan,” a guideline he endorsed in 2016 that called for the federal government to cut at least one penny for every dollar spent each year.
Trump’s goal of 5 percent budget cuts for fiscal-year 2020 won’t apply to the military. Congress approved a defense spending bill in September.
“It’s not as tough as you think and frankly there’s a lot of fat in there, but we had to get the military done last time,” Trump told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney in an interview Wednesday.
The White House’s budget request released in 2017 sought steeper cuts for some agencies. The Trump administration suggested a 21 percent spending cut for the Department of Agriculture and a 16 percent reduction for the Commerce Department. The State Department and Environmental Protection Agency faced the steepest cuts under the proposal.