CSAC Bulletin Article

Federal Issues Update
Trump Administration Proposes $18 Billion in Current Year Spending Cuts

March 30, 2017

This week, the Trump administration sent to Capitol Hill a detailed list of suggested cuts that could be used to partially offset its recent fiscal year 2017 supplemental spending request.  All told, the president is asking Congress to approve $18 billion in current-year spending reductions to help pay for $30 billion in new defense and border security funding.  The administration’s proposal would substantially reduce, or in some cases eliminate, fiscal-year 2017 funding for a number of programs that are of importance to California’s counties. 

Among other things, the administration is proposing the elimination of current year funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP; $210 million), as well as the popular Obama-era TIGER grant program ($499 million).  In addition, the White House has proposed slashing fiscal year 2017 funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program (a $1.5 billion cut) and the Payments-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT) program (a $51 million cut).

It should be noted that the suggested list of budget reductions has been met with a strong dose of skepticism by Republican appropriators, particularly since some of the targeted programs are popular among GOP members.  Additionally, some members have stated that the proposal has been presented too late in the budget process to justify such substantial cuts.  For their part, Democrats have indicated that they are not open to any further reductions in nondefense discretionary spending for fiscal year 2017.

At this point, it is not clear whether the president would be willing to veto any funding measure that does not endorse these – or other – cuts.  However, with only four weeks left before the current Continuing Resolution expires, the White House proposal adds a new level of uncertainty to budget negotiations.

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