The Trump Budget and its effect on government agencies
The FY 2018 proposed budget released by the White House calls for a drastic reduction in funds allotted to most non-military programs and agencies. With a renewed spotlight on national security and public safety, it is the goal of the White House to reduce non-essential spending and to focus on lean budgeting programs in order to do more with less. To that end, the White House suggests that Departments including Commerce, Interior, Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency, have reduced budgets in the coming fiscal year.
The White House has requested that the Department of Commerce receive $7.8 billion for FY 2018. This is a 16% decrease from what was allocated to the Department for FY 2017. The White House is seeking to appropriate $1.5 billion in funds for the U.S. Census Bureau in order to be adequately prepared for the 2020 Census. The White House is hoping that the additional funding that the Bureau would receive would help implement a new technological infrastructure to aid the Bureau when it administers the next census. However, the budget also proposes this money should come from the Economic Development Administration and eliminate that agency.
President Trump’s proposed budget for the Department of Interior is set at $11.6 billion; a 12% decrease from the previous year. The White House is hoping that by reducing the budget of the Department, that it will be able to strengthen programs that support environmentally produced energy developed on public land and eliminate unnecessary costs.
While the Department of Treasury would see its budget reduced by 4.1% for a proposed budgetary amount of $12.1 billion, the desired effect of this budget reduction would be to strengthen the IRS’s core mission of collecting revenue and combatting financial crimes, in addition to giving Treasury the tools it needs to reduce funding for terrorists and extremists. The White House proposes to eliminate the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which is responsible for providing grants to distressed communities to aid in economic and community growth.
The requested budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is $5.7 billion, resulting in a 31% decrease from 2017. Most programs under the EPA, including the Superfund and Clean Power Plan, in addition to 50 other programs, will receive drastically reduced funding or will be eliminated completely. The White House is hoping that this will allow the EPA to concentrate its efforts into certain areas and eliminate redundant programs.
Ultimately, many programs that include economic, environmental, or community development will be eliminated and grant programs will be drastically reduced. Since this is only a proposed budget however, Congressional approval is still required before any of these changes would take effect. If these changes are implemented, the number of projects that are being worked on at the state and local level could be impacted.
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