- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2019

President Trump said Wednesday that he wants to cut spending in his second term because the military “is very close to being totally rebuilt.”

In an interview with C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully, Mr. Trump suggested he’ll take a more aggressive approach to the budget if he’s reelected next year.

“I think getting costs — now that the military is very close to being totally rebuilt — I think costs are going to be a big factor,” Mr. Trump said.

The Senate is set to vote Wednesday on a two-year budget deal, negotiated by the administration, that raises spending about $320 billion above caps set in 2011. It also would suspend the debt ceiling until July 2021.

Under the agreement, spending in fiscal 2020 would rise about 3.5 percent from current levels, not including emergency war funding. The House passed the budget deal last week with mostly Democratic support.

The proposal would boost defense spending by about 3.5 percent next year to $738 billion, after spending more than $1.4 trillion on the Pentagon in Mr. Trump’s first two budgets. He has said the higher defense spending was necessary after the military was depleted under former President Barack Obama.

The Treasury Department said this week that borrowing by the federal government in 2019 will exceed $1 trillion for the second consecutive year.

The president said his second-term agenda also will focus on entitlements and health care.

“We want to strengthen up Social Security so that nobody gets hurt later on,” Mr. Trump said. “I think we’re going to do very strong health care. … It’s very, very important to me. Obamacare is not good. We’ve managed Obamacare really well … [but] it’s still too expensive, and it’s still not good health care.”

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