President Trump released his proposed budget and as promised, there are major cuts to programs and agencies. The goal of this budget is to do more with less, increase accountability, and “make the government work again”. Agencies will be held accountable for improving performance while “devoting a greater percentage of taxpayer dollars to mission achievement rather than costly, unproductive activities”. Congress still must approve this budget. A full budget, expected later this spring, will include “specific mandatory and tax proposals”.
Below is a summary of what this new budget could look like.
Department of Agriculture
The budget would fully fund the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The cuts in this department would include:
- Funding in the National Forest System for “lower priority activities” such as major federal land acquisition.
- Eliminating the duplicative Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, which would save about $498 million. Also, eliminating the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program.
- Reducing staffing at USDA’s Service Center Agencies and the “duplicative and underperforming programs by eliminating discretionary activities of the Rural Business and Cooperative Service”. This would create $95 million in savings.
Department of Commerce
The budget would add $100 million for the Census Bureau to prepare for the 2020 census. It would eliminate the Economic Development Administration ($221 million in savings), the Minority Business Development Agency, and $250 million in targeted National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education including the Sea Grant. It would increase spending for the National Weather Service by over $1 billion to increase forecasting capabilities.
Department of Defense
Overall, defense spending would see an increase of $54 billion. It would repeal defense sequestration by restoring $52 billion to the DOD and $2 billion to programs outside the DOD.
Department of Homeland Security
Homeland Security would receive more funding to improve border security. Specifically, $2.6 billion in high priority tactical infrastructure including funds for a border wall. Proposed spending would include $314 million to recruit, hire and train 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 new Immigrations and Customs Enforcement law officers in 2018.
$1.5 billion would be spent on the enforcement of immigration laws for “expanded detention, transportation, and removal of illegal immigrants”.
That same amount would go towards strengthening computer networks that protect federal networks from attack. The goal is to improve cyber security tools and to help information sharing with other agencies and the private sector.
User fees for the TSA and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) would get restructured “to ensure the cost of government services isn’t subsidized by taxpayers who don’t benefit from these programs directly”. TSA’s passenger security fee would see an increase to offset this. “Unauthorized and underperforming programs” at the TSA would get reduced to save $80 million, including reductions to Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response program and reaffirms TSA’s decision to eliminate the Behavioral Detection program.
State and local grant funding for FEMA would see its budget reduced by $667 million.
Department of Justice
The FBI would see an increase of $249 million to strengthen operations to combat terrorism and other law enforcement activities.
- $80 million would go to hiring 75 immigration judge teams
- An additional 60 border enforcement prosecutors and 40 deputy U.S. Marshals would be hired
- 40 attorneys would be added to pursue federal efforts to obtain land and holding necessary to secure the southwest border and for immigration litigation assistance
There would also be $700 million in budget cuts including $210 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.
The budget would eliminate the Global Climate Change Initiative, funding related to the Green Climate Fund and its two precursor Climate Investment Funds. It also would reduce funding to the UN and affiliated agencies. Funding would get cut for multilateral development banks, such as World Bank, by $650 million over three years. However, there would be funding of $2.2 billion that would go to new embassy construction and maintenance in 2018.
Department of Transportation
The budget would eliminate Federal support for Amtrak’s long-distance train services.
Federal Aviation Administration
This budget proposes the privatization of the air traffic control system and moving them under an independent, non-governmental organization that aims to increase efficiency while maintaining the safety of air travel.
Internal Revenue Service
The proposed budget would preserve key operations to ensure the IRS can still combat identity theft, prevent fraud, and reduce the deficit through effective enforcement of tax laws.
Department of Veterans Affairs
The budget proposes a $4.6 billion increase to the VA’s overall budget for improving patient access and timeliness of medical care services for veterans. It would also fund the Veterans Choice program.
Environmental Protection Agency
With this new budget, over 50 agency programs would get eliminated, saving over $340 million. A few of these include Energy Star, Targeted Airshed Grants, Endocrine Disruption Screening program, and infrastructure assistance to Alaska Native Villages and Mexico border. It would also eliminate funding for specific regional efforts such as Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay, and other geographic programs with a savings of $427 million. Funding would also cease for the Clean Power Plan and international climate change programs. However, the budget does include $2.3 billion for State Revolving Funds and $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
This new proposed budget would provide $624 million for aeronautics research and development and $1.9 billion for planetary science programs. Funding would also be available for a mission to repeatedly fly by Jupiter’s icy ocean moon Europa, and a Mars rover that would launch in 2020. $3.7 billion would to continuing the development of the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System, and associated ground systems to send American astronauts on deep space missions. However, NASA’s Office of Education would get eliminated at a savings of $115 million.