March 16 Highlights of the day for U.S.
President Donald Trump's administration on Thursday:
Trump's first budget outline, calling for a security-heavy
realignment of federal spending, draws resistance from his
fellow Republicans in the U.S. Congress as many balk at proposed
deep cuts to diplomatic and foreign aid programs.
It is not unusual for a new White House to present a "skinny
budget" - a spending wish list for Congress and some basic
economic projections - but Trump's first one takes it to an
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says his department's
current spending was not sustainable, and he willingly accepts
the "challenge" Trump is proposing in cutting more than a
quarter of his agency's budget.
The Trump administration wants a 31 percent cut to the
Environmental Protection Agency's budget, eliminating its
climate change programs and trimming core initiatives aimed at
protecting air and water.
Trump's proposal to privatize U.S. air traffic control wins
the backing of major U.S. airlines, but drew criticism from
other groups concerned smaller airlines and private companies
would lose airport access.
Trump's proposal to defund programs to clean up the
Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes, two of the country's largest
water systems, bring scorn from a bipartisan array of lawmakers
who vow to fight the cuts.
Deeply divided Republicans squeeze their U.S. healthcare
overhaul, backed by Trump, through a key House of
Representatives panel despite defections by three conservatives
who consider it too similar to the Obamacare law it is intended
The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee issue
a bipartisan statement rejecting Trump's assertion that the
Obama administration tapped his phones during the 2016
Trump has pledged to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if
necessary to fight for his revised travel ban, parts of which
were halted by two federal judges in recent days.
Tillerson says the escalating threat from North Korea's
nuclear program shows a clear need for a "new approach," but he
does not say what the Trump administration has in mind.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the administration
has no desire to get into trade wars, but certain trade
relationships need to be re-examined to make them fairer for
Trump's Middle East envoy pursues quiet diplomacy and avoids
controversy while shuttling between Jerusalem, Ramallah and the
Jordanian capital, Amman, on his first official visit to the
(Compiled by Bill Trott and Jonathan Oatis; Editing by James
Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)