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Four Unique, Random Ideas in the Trump Budget

President Trump proposed a detailed federal budget on Tuesday. Here are four things you’re unlikely to see in any other budget proposal.

The federal budget

President Trump proposed a $4 trillion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018 on Tuesday. If passed, it will cut spending by $3.6 trillion over the next 10 years, with major cuts falling on Medicaid, food stamps, and so-called “safety net” programs.

The budget also has a Trump-ian touch, with some unique ideas on both the spending and revenue sides.

Here are four of the most unique, random ideas in President Trump’s first major budget proposal.

1) $1.6 BILLION FOR BRICKS

You read that right. Trump’s budget proposal includes $1.6 billion in funding for “bricks and mortar.” What does Trump need $1.6 billion worth of bricks for?

The wall, of course.

A source familiar with the budget justification says the money would largely cover just a few dozen miles of wall, tracking what the administration had previously proposed for the $1 billion it asked for unsuccessfully for 2017 construction.

2) $25 BILLION FOR A LIBERAL IDEA

Despite deep cuts, Trump sets aside $25 billion over 10 years for a policy that has long been a goal for liberals: paid family leave.

The president’s first detailed budget request on Tuesday will seek funds for the creation of a program to grant mothers and fathers six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, two senior White House budget office officials said.

Paid leave is a priority for Ivanka Trump, the president’s influential daughter.

3) $16 BILLION FROM … OIL SALES?

Trump wants to raise about $16 billion in sales from the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Bloomberg reported on Tuesday:

The White House plan to trim the national debt includes selling off half of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile, part of a broad series of changes proposed by President Donald Trump to the federal government’s role in energy markets.

Trump’s first complete budget proposal, released in part on Monday, would raise $500 million in fiscal year 2018 by draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and as much $16.6 billion in oil sales over the next decade.

4) LOAN FORGIVENESS

Trump makes around $143 billion in 10-year cuts to the federal government’s student loan programs. Many of those cuts fall on graduate students and Stafford loan recipients.

Undergraduate borrowers, though, may benefit from one part of Trump’s plan:

Like graduate students, undergraduates will have to pay a higher percentage of their income every month than under the Obama administration’s plan — 12.5% instead of 10%. But their loans would be forgiven after just 15 years of payments, instead of 20 — a significant difference for borrowers with high loan balances or people who make so little that they do not have to make monthly payments on government-subsidized student loans.

Trump brought some unique ideas to the table. An important reminder, though: it’s very unlikely Trump’s budget will pass Congress, as is.