2 years, 8 months ago Veronica GonzalesKeymaster
On Monday, February 12, 2018, the White House released its FY 2019 budget request. The budget proposal, titled “Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget,” sets forth President Donald Trump’s priorities as Congress prepares to consider spending bills for FY 2019. It calls for major cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs, reductions that have long been targeted by conservatives. It’s notable that the plan would not eliminate the budget deficit after 10 years, which is an acknowledgment that large spending increases and a $1.5 trillion tax cut are putting pressure on government debt.
The Trump Administration’s second spending plan came a week late and on the heels of a sweeping budget deal wherein Congress and the White House agreed to a two-year increase in federal spending limits set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. As a result, while President Trump and his agency leaders proceeded with the rollout of the spending plan, an addendum reflecting the additional $300 billion available for defense and non-defense spending was being written.
Before the plan’s release, the White House said it would propose significant cuts to non-defense domestic programs, and outline “an aggressive set of spending reforms” to yield a reduction in the deficit of $3 trillion over ten years. The request—which is largely viewed as suggestions by Congress, which retains the power of the federal purse—bolsters military spending; includes $23 billion for border security (including $18 billion to support the building of a southern border wall) and immigration enforcement; $21 billion for infrastructure (the first investment in the White House’s ten-year plan); $85.5 billion for veterans’ health; and, $17 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.
The Department of Education’s (ED) plan has some familiar elements. As in the FY 2018 request, funds are not requested at all for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which invests in afterschool programs, or for the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants (investments in educator professional development programs), along with 27 other programs “that do not address national needs, duplicate other programs, are ineffective, or are more appropriately supported with State, local, or private funds.” The plan proposes the elimination of the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, as it did last year, but also proposes broadening eligibility for Pell grants. This year, the White House had initially requested $59.9 billion for ED, a $7.1 billion or 10.5-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level. However, after the passage of last week’s budget deal, they added some funds to the agency’s spending plan, proposing a $3.8 billion cut, which is a 5.6 percent decrease compared to the FY 2017 enacted level (final FY 2018 spending bills are still being written). Some of those funds would be allocated to Impact Aid, Federal Work Study, and TRIO programs and additional funding for the school choice initiative, according to the addendum.
Find a summary of the request here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jmE2ih3JeP9MKMEG0_K-tuWrHpYNr2SC/view?usp=sharing And remember—it’s a REQUEST. Congress still holds the power of the federal purse. More details on the numbers and associate policy ideas will come in future days, weeks and months.
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