Plenty Of Cash To Throw Around As A Result Of The Shutdown Aversion

Anita Gooding
Posted on February 20, 2018, 9:37 pm
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Alongside its original budget request, the Trump administration Monday also released the details of what it would recommend doing with the extra money for domestic programs included in Congress’ spending deal enacted last week.

That includes an increase to the State Department, which the administration’s original document proposed to slash by 30 percent this coming fiscal year. The extra cash would go into the budget for the United Nations, humanitarian aid and global AIDS programs. Each of those efforts would have been cut under Trump’s original plan.

The White House’s revised version for fiscal 2019 would also add $1.7 billion to both the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money would fund programs like federal work-study and aid programs for households with elderly and disabled people.

A large chunk of the money is reflective of President Donald Trump’s longtime policy wish list, such as an extra $10 billion for anti-addiction and mental health programs, $1.5 billion in worker training and $249 million for more ICE detention beds.

Other funding boosts would simply reverse cuts previously proposed by the Trump administration: the EPA’s Superfund cleanup account, research at the National Science Foundation, icebreakers at the Coast Guard and operations at the National Park Service.

The higher spending levels reflect a two-year, $300 billion spending deal that Trump signed on Friday. That deal, which lifted the government’s strict spending caps for two years, freed up billions in additional dollars for domestic programs.

In the wake of that deal, the White House released an “addendum” to its original budget which had been in the works for months to reflect how it would advise Congress to spend that extra money.

The Trump administration said it would restore funding for “activities that the Administration supports but could not accommodate at the lower cap levels.”

Much of that funding would be “paired with management and structural changes,” in keeping with the administration’s vision of a more streamlined federal government.

The revised budget calls for spending reforms, such as moving mandatory spending programs into the discretionary side of the budget, which Congress actually controls.

Those automatic funding streams like the Crime Victims Fund, Overseas Contingency Operations, or the Prevention and Public Health fund would instead be managed by appropriators.

Within State, roughly $12 billion in so-called OCO funding would be shifted into the department’s “base” budget instead. Within DOD, the White House shifts $20 billion of OCO funding to the base budget.

The Department of Health and Human Services would see $5.75 billion in mandatory dollars moved into its “base” budget, including the National Health Service Corps and the Maternal and Child Health account.

It specifically calls out “changes in mandatory programs,” or CHIMPs, that it said it “used to offset real increases in discretionary spending.”

The White House’s revised budget calls for billions in new domestic spending even as it preaches “fiscal restraint” and urges Congress not to spend all of it.

In its original budget document, the White House declared: “Washington has a spending problem. Debt and deficits are not only a problem in and of themselves, but they are also the symptoms of something much larger little appetite in the Congress to restrain spending.”

Anita Gooding
Political Analyst

My name is Anita, and I'm a UC Berkeley alumna and currently based in Minnesota but from the United Kingdom. I have been actively involved in political reportage since the days of Bill Clinton in the White House and have always kept tabs on political events in the United Kingdom and the European Union at large. I take special delight in covering the activities of frontline politicians in the US and EU I joined the Herald Reporter’s team of correspondents in October 2017 out of my passion for journalism to cover US and EU evolving and trending political news.