WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump asked his cabinet Wednesday to cut 5 percent from each of their respective budgets by the next meeting.
“I think you’ll all be able to do it,” Trump said during a cabinet meeting. “There may be a special exemption, perhaps; I don’t know who that exemption would be.”
When asked if the cuts would apply to the Defense Department, Trump said that their upcoming budget request will ask for approximately $700 billion for Defense, down from $716 billion in Fiscal Year 2019 but a cut that is less than half of what’s being asked for from other departments.
“It’s defense, it’s very important,” Trump said.
Trump’s call comes two days after the Treasury Department announced that the federal deficit has climbed to $779 billion, a six-year high.
While the administration is expected to present their budget request early next year, Congress is ultimately responsible for setting spending levels.
Trump meets with his cabinet roughly once a month, although he skipped meetings in September and May.