Overnight Finance: Inside Trump's first budget | Reaction from Congress | Budget panel advances ObamaCare repeal | Debt ceiling returns

Overnight Finance: Inside Trump's first budget | Reaction from Congress | Budget panel advances ObamaCare repeal | Debt ceiling returns
© Getty

Trump unveils first budget blueprint: President Trump on Thursday made public his first federal budget blueprint, revealing a plan to dramatically reduce the size of government.

The document calls for deep cuts at departments and agencies that would eliminate entire programs and slash the size of the federal workforce. It also proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which the White House says will be offset by the other cuts. 

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 would see major cuts, as would the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where the budget would be cut by 31 percent.

The sweeping cuts would ax programs that help the poor, fund research on climate change and science and provide aid to foreign countries. The Hill's Jordan Fabian and I have the details here: http://bit.ly/2mzbx9O.

Five takeaways from Trump's budget request: President Trump's first budget proposal would fundamentally reshape the federal government's priorities, both at home and abroad.

The blueprint calls for steep cuts to social safety net programs, foreign aid and efforts to combat climate change. The savings from those cuts would be used to pay for increased spending on defense, law enforcement and counterterrorism. I'll tell you the five things you need to know about the proposal: http://bit.ly/2mzl40x.

Debt ceiling returns, creating new headache for GOP: The legal limit on how much the United States government can borrow returns on Thursday, potentially setting up an intense political battle in Congress.

ADVERTISEMENT
Lawmakers will have until sometime this autumn to raise the debt ceiling before the Treasury runs out of ways to make essential payments, putting the nation at risk of its first-ever debt default.

The debt limit is a major test for the Trump administration and Republican congressional leaders who've sought major spending cuts before previous increases in the debt ceiling. I'll tell you why here: http://bit.ly/2mzvRYl.

Budget panel advances ObamaCare bill with three GOP defections: The House Budget Committee approved the GOP's ObamaCare repeal and replacement plan 19-17 Thursday morning, with three Republicans voting no. 

Republican Reps. Dave Brat (Va.), Mark Sanford (S.C.) and Gary Palmer (Ala.) voted against advancing the bill. 

All three men are members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, which opposes the bill some have called "ObamaCare lite" because it leaves in place several of ObamaCare's provisions and insurance mandates. The Hill's Jessie Hellmann reports: http://bit.ly/2mzuVmJ.

Happy Thursday and welcome to Overnight Finance, where we're running on fumes and laughing at Skip Bayless. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

Tonight's highlights include how Trump's budget is playing on Capitol Hill, what would get cut, movement on postal service reform and revisiting the Johnson Amendment.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

What Congress thinks of Trump's budget:

The 19 federal agencies Trump wants to eliminate: President Trump's budget blueprint proposes eliminating 19 federal agencies. Here's each one and what they do, from supporting arts and public television to building infrastructure and studying international relations: http://bit.ly/2m7itP7.

Trump budget cuts IRS funding despite Mnuchin's call for more staff: President Trump's first budget blueprint calls for a $239 million cut to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's previous requests to hire more IRS staff and modernize its technology.

The blueprint, released Thursday morning, would reduce Treasury Department funding by 4.1 percent and move funding toward combating financial crime, terrorism financing and economic threats.

The budget says it's intended to "bring renewed discipline to [Treasury] by focusing resources on collecting revenue" among other priorities. But cutting the IRS budget could complicate Mnuchin's effort to rebuild the agency, outlined during his Jan. 19 confirmation hearing: http://bit.ly/2mzlqE7.

Budget director: We can't ask coal miners or single moms to pay for Public Broadcasting: White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney says Trump administration officials focused on areas of the budget where they felt they could not ask taxpayers to foot the bill, specifically citing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

"When you start looking at the places that will reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was 'Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs?' And the answer was no," Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a Thursday morning interview on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

"We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can't ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation of Public Broadcasting." http://bit.ly/2mzpZOZ.

Trump proposed budget eliminates funds for Meals on Wheels: President Trump's proposed budget blueprint eliminates funding for Meals on Wheels, a program that provides meals for the poor, elderly and veterans.

Trump's proposed cuts include $3 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant program, which includes Meals on Wheels among other housing and community programs.

The budget outlines more than $6 million in cuts for HUD, a 13.2 percent decrease from its current funding: http://bit.ly/2mzyGbO.

White House defends proposed cuts to programs for elderly, minorities, and poor: The White House on Thursday went on defense against claims its proposed budget would harm the elderly, the poor and minority groups.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney beat back allegations from reporters at a press briefing that President Trump's proposed budget is "hard-hearted," as CNN reporter Jim Acosta described it.

"We're trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the people who give us the money in the first place," Mulvaney shot back. "I think it's compassionate to say we're not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore, single mom of two in Detroit … We're not going to do that anymore unless we can guarantee to you that money is being used in a proper function. That's about as compassionate as you can get." The Hill's Jonathan Easley has more about the White House pushback. http://bit.ly/2nxdyns

House panel approves Postal Service legislation: The House Oversight Committee on Thursday approved two bipartisan bills aimed at putting the U.S. Postal Service on better financial footing.

The committee passed the bills by voice vote.

One of the bills makes a number of changes to the Postal Service, which has faced financial challenges in recent years.

The bill would automatically enroll eligible USPS retirees in Medicare, make reforms to the Postal Service's governance, bolster the use of centralized delivery, allow the USPS to increase postal rates by 1 cent for a first-class stamp and to provide non-postal services to state and local governments. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda explains: http://bit.ly/2m7fwhB.

GOP senator asks IRS to review enforcement of limit on church political activity: Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynGOP at decisive moment on Planned Parenthood Opioid crisis threatens GOP ObamaCare repeal Lawmakers want meeting with Trump administration to take US-Mexico border trade MORE (R-Texas) is asking the IRS and Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct a review relating to the Johnson Amendment, which bars churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits from engaging in some political activities.

"Please know I share the concerns expressed by my constituents that the IRS and other relevant agencies are intruding on the First Amendment rights of churches and other houses of worship across the State of Texas in enforcement of the Johnson Amendment," Cornyn said this week in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsJustice Department developing strategies to shut down ‘sanctuary cities’: report Sally Yates slams Sessions on criminal justice reform Preet Bharara emailed DOJ about phone call from Trump: report MORE.

The Johnson Amendment is unpopular with conservatives. President Trump has called for repealing it, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyOvernight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel Senate expected to pass Russia sanctions bill for a second time White House pressuring House GOP to weaken Russia sanctions bill: report MORE (R-Texas) has said he plans to eliminate it as part of tax reform. Here's more from Naomi: http://bit.ly/2mz3WrO.

Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.comvneedham@thehill.com, and njagoda@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane,  @VickofTheHill and @NJagoda.