The month of May saw President Donald J. Trump make his first foreign trip as well as meeting with key leaders, organizations and making lucrative economic deals. The 45th president was met with both praise and controversy, which mirrored his decisions about whether American and foreign interests aligned. Here are the POTUS’ activities for the month of May.
Trump Budget Plan
The White House released what the administration is calling a “Taxpayer First Budget” proposal. Its broad strokes call for a $54 billion increase in military spending, an additional $4.3 billion going toward veteran aid, $2.6 billion in border security, paid family leave, welfare reforms aimed at a $272 billion in savings, and no cuts to traditional social security for seniors. The Trump plan targets wasteful spending and a highlight of that issue is the $700,000 budgeted for science to create a musical about climate change. While every president submits a spending proposal, Congress generally uses it as a guideline for negotiations to avoid a presidential veto.
The administration touted Pres. Trump’s first foreign trip as symbolically touching three of the world’s major religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Welcomed with full pomp and circumstance by Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abd Al-Aziz, the leaders discussed the fight against terrorism and the threat of Iran. A joint gathering of Arab leaders discussed laying the groundwork for an “Arab NATO” to meet regional threats.
Traveling to Israel and meeting with his long-time friend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump paid a visit to the Western Wall, considered one of the regions holiest sites.
The U.S. president also took time to meet with Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas on the West Bank. However, no remarks were made about a possible “two-state” peace solution between Israel and Palestine.
The final stop on the “Unity Tour” saw President Trump meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican City. Although the president and the leader of the Catholic Church had an ongoing social media feud about the proposed Southern border wall, both shied away from forceful rhetoric in a cordial gathering.
Art of the Deal
As part of his trip to Saudi Arabia, Pres. Trump ushered in the largest arms deal in U.S. history, valued at $110 billion in immediate sales and another record $350 billion over 10 years. Piggy-backing the military equipment purchases, private sector companies chipped in deals worth between $200 and $300 billion.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc traveled to the White House to usher in a series of financial deals between the two nations reportedly valued at $8 billion, with $3 billion in U.S. produced goods that would buttress about 23,000 American jobs. The deal involves private sector companies that include General Electric and Caterpillar.
Voter Fraud and Suppression
The president signed an executive order forming a bipartisan Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
NATO and EU
Pres. Trump met with NATO and EU leaders during his first trip abroad. He continued his criticism of NATO members that have not met their financial obligation and the trade deficit that exists with Germany. The U.S. suffers a deficit of more than $60 billion annually with Germany, second only to China.
Health and Human Services Nomination
Pres. Trump nominated Matthew Basset to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Legislation, a key role that provides continuity between the White House and Congress. Bassett has nearly 20 years of experience in the private healthcare sector.
The president made the following proclamations for May.
- The third Saturday in May: Armed Forces Day.
- May 22: National Maritime Day.
- May 21-27: World Trade and Emergency Medical Services Week.
- May 12: Military Spouse Day
- May 7-13: National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
- May 4: National Day of Prayer.
- May 1: Law Day U.S.A.
- Month of May: Mental Health Awareness Month.
- Month of May: Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
- Month of May: National Foster Care Month.
All in all, President Trump may have angered a few liberals as usual in the month of May, but he also took some serious steps towards altering the faltering reputation of America when it comes to world affairs.