Week ahead: Trump budget coming Tuesday | CBO to unveil health bill score | House hearing on border tax

If you not in the loop and already know… 

President Trump is releasing his first formal budget proposal Tuesday for fiscal 2018.

It comes two months after an outline of the plan, which called for deep cuts at departments and agencies across the board, set off bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill.

The plan would eliminate entire programs and slash the federal workforce. But it also proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which the White House says will be offset by the other cuts.

Among the highlights from the outline, Trump is demanding a 28 percent reduction in the State Department’s budget, a cut that White House budget director Mick Mulvaney conceded was “fairly dramatic.”

The departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development also would see major cuts, as would the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where the budget could be cut by 31 percent.

The White House has also said the budget will be the “first step” in Trump’s plans for a $1 trillion infrastructure package. The budget proposal will reportedly include $200 billion for infrastructure projects over 10 years.

The proposal will be only that – a blueprint, with Congress highly unlikely to pass Trump’s budget. But it will set the stage for the spending fights ahead.

Republicans have already expressed concerns about some of Trump’s proposed cuts. House Democrats are warning that the budget is a recipe for a government shutdown if Republicans back domestic spending cuts while boosting defense.

The budget proposal also comes at a difficult time for the White House, with Washington still reeling from Trump’s firing of James Comey as FBI director, and with the Justice Department tapping a special prosecutor to investigate claims of Russian meddling in the election.

Trump, though, will miss the budget rollout on Tuesday. The president will be overseas for his first foreign trip in office, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Europe.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will speak about the proposal before the House Budget Committee on Wednesday and the Senate Budget Committee on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will discuss the budget before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, and before the Senate Finance Committee.

Mnuchin is also expected to speak on tax reform during his testimony to the Finance Committee, after discussing taxes and financial regulation with the Banking Committee this week.

House GOP leaders are also desperately trying to keep the focus on tax reform despite the controversy over Comey and Russia in the week ahead.

The Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the controversial border-adjustment tax in the House blueprint. Border adjustment would tax imports while exempting exports.

The proposal is opposed by several Republicans senators and administration officials, but is a key element of the House tax plan. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he believes a border tax “probably wouldn’t pass” the upper chamber.

All eyes will also be on the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday, when it unveils its score for the House GOP’s healthcare bill.

The bill passed the House two weeks ago, but has still not been sent to the Senate, as lawmakers await the score. The analysis will highlight the bill’s effect on the deficit and how many Americans could lose coverage.

 

Coming up this next week:

Monday:

  • Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard delivers a speech in Minneapolis entitled, “The Roles of Opportunity and Inclusion in Strengthening the U.S. Economy,” 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday:

  • House Ways and Means Committee: Hearing entitled, “Increasing U.S Competitiveness and Preventing American Jobs from Moving Overseas,” focused on the border-adjustment tax, 10 a.m.
  • Senate Banking Committee: Votes to advance the nominations of Sigal Mandelker to be Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes; Marshall Billingslea to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing; Heath P. Tarbert to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Markets and Development; and Mira Radielovic Ricardel to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, 10 a.m.
  • House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection: Hearing entitled “Disrupter Series: Delivering to Consumers,” 10:15 a.m.
  • The American Enterprise Institute will holds an event on the CHOICE Act with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), 11 a.m.The bill is Hensarling’s overhaul of Dodd-Frank.
  • The Peterson Institute for International Economics will hold a book discussion entitled “Banking’s Final Exam: Stress Testing and Bank-Capital Reform,” 12 p.m.

Wednesday:

Thursday:

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