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Here’s what Trump’s spending proposal would fund and cut

President Trump unveiled his long-awaited infrastructure plan to fix roads, bridges and airports on Monday, as well as his $4.4 trillion outline of spending priorities. But the plan was overshadowed by internal struggles at the White House, and questions of how top staff handled domestic violence allegations against two aides. Yamiche Alcindor joins Judy Woodruff for more.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As we reported earlier, President Trump today unveiled his long-awaited infrastructure plan and spending priorities. Both were overshadowed, though, by internal struggles at the White House and the questions of how top staff handled domestic violence allegations against two aides.

    It was a major focus of today’s White House briefing with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

    The president and the entire administration take domestic violence very seriously and believe all allegations need to be investigated thoroughly. Above all, the president supports victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process.

  • Question:

    Why haven’t we heard the president say exactly what you just said right there, that he takes domestic violence very seriously?

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

    I spoke with the president, and those are actually directly his words that he gave me earlier today.

  • Question:

    But why hasn’t he said that? He had the opportunity. He’s been active on Twitter.

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

    It’s my job to speak on behalf of the president. I spoke to him, and he relayed that message directly to me, and I’m relaying it directly to you.

  • Judy Woodruff:

     And our Yamiche Alcindor joins me now for more.

    So, Yamiche, what the White House wanted to talk about today was the budget and something else, and we will get to that in a minute. But this lingering story is still hanging out there, reporters asking, how did the president, how did the White House handle this?

    Why is this still going on?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, this was, as you know, supposed to be infrastructure week.

    This is the White House’s second try at infrastructure week and each time it’s been overshadowed by this scandal. We’re talking about it still largely because President Trump tweeted about it over the weekend. He didn’t name Rob Porter, the other aide that resigned because of domestic violence allegations, but he said that people’s lives were being destroyed and that they needed due process.

    Because of that tweet and because of the fact nobody really knows who knew what when at the White House, this has been an issue the White House is continuing to deal with. John Kelly, who is the chief of staff to President Trump, has said as soon as he heard about the allegations, that 40 minutes later Rob Porter was out of the job.

    But Sarah Sanders today from the podium said that it was actually 24 hours later that Rob Porter resigned or terminated. And even that detail is still murky.

    So there is the idea this President Trump continues to likely — come to the defense of men who are allegedly domestically violating people. And you have this idea that Sarah Sanders said herself that the president dictated a statement to her in support of domestic violence victims.

    But the president, who of course has no qualms ever using his Twitter account to say whatever is on his mind, has not spoken publicly in support of the women here.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And people were pointing to a series of these statements over the last several years where he’s spoken out in more sympathy for the people have been accused of abuse.

    So, Yamiche, let’s talk about the other things going on at the White House today. The president did roll out — they did roll out their budget for the coming fiscal year. Just give us the highlights.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Some of the highlights are that this is a budget that’s $4.4 trillion. That’s 10 percent more than Republicans spent in — or wanted to spend in 2017.

    The other thing that’s happening here is that they’re asking for $23 billion in border security. That includes money for the wall. Of course, that’s the wall on the border of Mexico — then you have — $28 billion, sorry.

    Then you have $13 billion for opioid treatment services. That’s a critical step since President Trump has declared a public health crisis about this issue in October. And then you have $200 billion for infrastructure structure over 10 years. So, then you have 17 — I’m sorry — $716 billion for military spending.

    The other thing that’s happening here is that it eliminates 62 agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It eliminates a lot of entitlement programs, which is something that Republicans wanted to get rid of. They said 64 agencies. Sorry about that.

    Then they have $554 billion are getting cut from Medicaid; $250 billion are getting cut from Medicaid; $214 billion is being cut from the SNAP program, which of course used to be known as the food stamp program.

    The other thing that’s really being cut is here the EPA. It’s going to be losing $2.8 billion. That’s a lot of money. Most of those programs are to eliminate climate change programs. So, that’s a big deal, because a lot of people are saying that this is an administration that has been hostile to climate change issues.

    And then the last thing that it does is that it adds $984 billion to the deficit in 2018 — in 2019, which is a huge, huge change for Republicans who have really been wanting to balance the budget.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    It’s been noted that they don’t even make a pretense of getting to balance, of worrying about deficits.

    So, the last thing, just quickly, of course, is infrastructure. This has been long awaited and the White House did finally push out their plan.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    The White House pushed out their plan today. And it’s a plan — it’s an issue, I should say, that the White House should be able to get some bipartisan support on.

    The president, when he talked about infrastructure, it was a very popular thing. Bernie Sanders, when I was on the campaign trail with him, also talked about infrastructure.

    But the way that President Trump is talking about the infrastructure plan is essentially saying that states and local governments are going to be the ones bearing the brunt and paying for the most of it. The federal government would spend something like $200 billion, but that’s a small fraction of what they want to spend.

    And today Senator Chuck Schumer came out and basically said that there are going to be Trump tolls all across the country, saying that for President Trump to get this plan passed, it’s going to have to turn into tolls and all sorts of fees being passed on to different Americans.

    Republicans, on the other hand, some of them have been saying they praised this program. And some of them, of course, have been saying that they want more explanation, because they’re very worried about the fact that they’re adding to the deficit.

  • Judy Woodruff:

     A lot of discussion still about how this is paid for, in very early stages.

    Yamiche Alcindor, so much going on. Thank you.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Thanks.

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