The White House is fine with having deep, automatic spending cuts take effect once again next year, Axios’s Jonathan Swan reports.
White House legislative affairs official Paul Teller told Hill staffers last week that “the president does not want a caps deal," Swan reports. That “caps deal” refers to an agreement to lift caps on discretionary spending for both defense and non-defense areas, as Congress has done repeatedly in recent years. The Trump administration, however, is looking to cut non-defense spending while raising military spending to $750 billion.
The White House reportedly says it can achieve its goals by allowing steep, automatic spending cuts set up by the Budget Control Act of 2011 to take effect again in 2020 — and then offsetting the required defense cuts by using an off-the-books account that critics call a slush fund.
“Lawmakers from both parties are outraged, and most think there's no chance Congress would approve of Trump parking more than $100 billion in the slush fund, as his budget proposes,” Swan writes, adding that GOP lawmakers aren’t likely to go along with the White House plan. Instead, they’ll probably negotiate another deal with Democrats to increase spending above the caps.