Donald Trump first address to Congress
WASHINGTON: (APP) President Donald Trump will address Congress for the first time on Tuesday, selling his policies and laying out the case for a $54 billion boost in military spending and cuts in domestic programs and foreign aid.
Previewing measures designed to back up campaign promises with dollars and cents, Trump promised a fiscal plan focused on "public safety and national security."
"We are going to spend a lot more money on military. We really have to. We have no choice," Trump said in an interview that aired early Tuesday on Fox News.
"A lot of people think it's a tremendous amount of money. It could be actually $30 billion more than that," he said.
The proposed $54 billion increase in military spending would swell the US defense budget -- by far the world's largest -- by about 10 percent.
To pay for it, administration officials said there would be a corresponding decrease in non-discretionary, non-military programs.
"Most federal agencies will see a reduction as a result," an administration official said Monday. There will be a "large reduction in foreign aid," he added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Trump has put security threats front and center of his administration and insisted a blunt, muscular response is the only remedy.
He has promised to build a wall on the Mexican border, deport unauthorized immigrants and wipe jihadists off the "face of the earth."
His budget proposal -- which must ultimately be approved by Congress -- doubles down on that ethos.
The Republican president is set to address the Republican-controlled Congress, in a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives, shortly after 9:00 pm (0200 GMT Wednesday). The prime-time speech will be nationally televised.