President Donald Trump has instructed aides to prepare for steep budget cuts if he wins a second term in the White House, according to a new report.
Trump and his advisors believe he will be better positioned to crack down on the federal deficit, which has swelled to a projected $1 trillion for the current fiscal year, five people briefed on the discussions told the Washington Post.
Trump has reportedly not instructed aides as to how sweeping he wants future budget cuts in his second term to be, or exactly what would be cut.
It's also not clear whether he would consider cutting Medicare, one of the government's costliest programs and which he vowed during the 2016 campaign not to defund.
President Donald Trump has reportedly instructed aides to prepare for steep budget cuts if he wins a second term in the White House
For the time being, Washington negotiators are closing in on a budget and debt deal that would stave off the chance of a government shutdown this fall and allow Congress to speed through legislation to increase the government's borrowing cap.
The emerging two-year framework would satisfy demands for an outline to guide congressional work on more than $1.3 trillion in agency operating budgets.
It would still need to be fleshed out in follow-up legislation, and puts off battles over political land mines like immigration and President Donald Trump's unfulfilled promises of a border wall.
Obstacles remain and conservative forces inside the White House are resisting a quick deal and want more concessions from Pelosi, who says a deal is needed this week in order to ensure it passes before the summer recess.
The chief advocates of the deal include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., along with top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.
Many House conservatives are likely to oppose it as spending too much on Democratic domestic initiatives and ignoring budget deficits estimated at $1 trillion. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, focused chiefly on the need to increase the debt limit, is the chief negotiator for the Trump administration.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, speaks during a news conference on the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582) at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday
Pelosi and Schumer spoke with Mnuchin on Wednesday, and the talks have gotten down to timing issues. Pelosi told reporters that 'if we're really going to do this by next Thursday before we leave we have to have some agreement this week.'