US President Donald Trump has given the first preview of his budget priorities for the federal government, indicating significant spending reductions in areas outside of the military and law and immigration enforcement.

Trump said he will give more specifics in a Feb. 28 speech to the US Congress, and his formal budget proposal will be submitted to Congress sometime in March. Without specifics, it is unclear where reductions in spending will be focused, but Trump has promised a $54 billion increase in the Department of Defense (DOD) budget for fiscal year 2018 starting Oct. 1, 2017, to be “offset” by $54 billion in spending reductions at other federal agencies. While nothing has yet been said regarding the Department of Transportation (DOT) and FAA budgets, it would appear that tighter budgets will be proposed by the Trump administration.

“We’re going to do more with less,” Trump said in Feb. 27 remarks to US state governors. “We’re going make the [federal] government lean … The government must learn to tighten its belt.” Trump said his budget proposal would be “a budget of great rationality.”

Trump did indicate, however, that there will be spending on infrastructure, saying he will make a “big statement” on infrastructure in the Feb. 28 speech to Congress. “We’re going to start spending on infrastructure big,” Trump said. He has previously indicated that infrastructure spending will include investments in US airports, which he has described as the “bottom of the rung” internationally.

Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018 will be the opening salvo in a long Congressional appropriations process, so even his formal proposal in March will be a long way from being enacted.

Indications are that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which enforces immigration and houses the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will not be the focus of cost-trimming in Trump’s budget proposal. “Federal law enforcement and activities having to do with law enforcement will be substantially increased,” Trump said.

Foreign aid and other non-military activities outside US borders appear likely to face major spending reductions. The president’s budget proposal “puts America first by keeping tax dollars in America,” Trump said.

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com