Congress has until April 28 to pass a fiscal 2017 spending measure to avoid a government shutdown, and President Trump’s new effort to slash $18 billion from our cash-strapped federal agencies this fiscal year could complicate the process and worsen the outcome.
Congress delayed passage of the spending measure from last fall to this year after Trump won the election and asked to be a part of the 2017 budget consideration process. But he didn’t get back to Congress until his 2018 proposal came out in March.
The programs Trump’s targeting this fiscal year is similar to what he’s targeting next year: public health and safety, education, environmental protection, housing, and peacekeeping. He wants to use the $18 billion cut to these programs to help pay for the increase in the military budget next year. The $2 billion cut from this year’s budget would also go towards his proposed wall along the Mexican border.
There are only five months left in this fiscal year, and the $18 billion cut would need to be absorbed within these five months if Congress agreed to it.
A few examples of the cuts Trump wants to see within the next five months:
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s funding would be cut by $1.2 billion.
- The Health and Human Services Department (HHS)’s mental health program would be cut by $100 million.
- HHS’s State Insurance Assistance Program would be cut by $49 million. This is a state program that gets funding from the federal government to provide free local health coverage counseling to people with Medicare.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Public Health program, which funds all kinds of research such as tobacco prevention, cancer registries, and prion disease, would be cut by $65 million.
- HHS/CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response Grants Program, which helps states respond to a range of public health threats, would be cut by $49 million.
- FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter program would be cut by $20 million.
- The Sea Grant program, which protects communities from rising seas and storms, would be cut by $30 million.
- EPA’s budget to clean up polluted sites across the country would be cut by $30 million. The agency’s climate-related research would be cut by $48 million. Its grants to fund state environmental programs would be cut by $115 million.
- The National Science Foundation’s research and related activities would be cut by $350 million. This means cuts to research in biology, computer, information science, engineering, etc.
- The Department of Labor’s fund given to states to help provide job training to workers who have been laid off or displaced due to a natural disaster would be cut by $100 million.
- Labor’s Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps provide non-profit or government jobs to low-income unemployed older adults, would be eliminated. Its $434 million funding would be wiped out.
- The Education Department’s Supporting Effective Instruction, which provides grants to states to improve instruction and reduce class sizes, would be cut by $1.2 billion.
- The State Department’s International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement would be cut by $200 million. The agency’s peacekeeping operations would be slashed by $20 million. Its Global Health Security’s budget would be eliminated entirely -- $72 million.
- HUD’s Community Development Block Grant, which helps make houses more affordable in communities and helps American people achieve their dream of owning a home, would be cut by $1.5 billion.
“We can either invest in America or dismantle it,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “We’re urging Congress to reject these additional cuts that would devastate our public health and safety, education, and other areas important to all of us including our children and grandchildren.”
Yes, you can do something about it Visit our WIN page at www.afge.org/win for resources and information on how to stop the cuts.