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After Deficit Report, Trump Asks Cabinet Leaders For 5% Budget Cuts

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After Deficit Report, Trump Asks Cabinet Leaders For 5% Budget Cuts
The proposal comes days after an announcement revealing the federal deficit for fiscal year 2018 jumped 17% from the previous period.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

President Donald Trump made a financial request of his Cabinet leaders Wednesday. 

"We'd like you to come back with a 5 percent cut. Get rid of the fat. Get rid of the waste," he said. "That's a very, very important request that I'm making of everybody sitting around this table. Tremendous amounts of money. And it's something that we can do and I believe we can actually do it easily. "

His proposal to cut 5 percent from each Cabinet secretary's budget comes days after a report showing the federal deficit for fiscal year 2018 was $779 billion, the highest it's been since 2012.  

Overall, the cuts could add up. For example, the fiscal year 2019 budget for the Department of Justice is about $28 billion. A 5 percent cut would mean about $1.4 billion.

It's also a timely issue for another reason: ahead of the November midterm elections, Democrats and Republicans have been playing the blame game when it comes to the expanding deficit. 

Congress would still have to approve the Cabinet spending cuts. The Trump administration will reveal its budget proposal for the next fiscal year in early 2019.  

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN