President Trump’s Proposed Funding Increase to Defense at the Expense of Other Programs Faces Opposition

Policy makers and advocates got an early glimpse at President Donald Trump’s FY18 budget proposal on February 28.  The president’s budget would increase defense spending by $54 billion, paid for with dramatic cuts to other agencies, particularly the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. HUD could see its funding decrease by as much as 10-15% under the president’s budget proposal.

Many Congressional Republicans panned the president’s proposal, and Congressional Democrats voiced strong opposition. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate probably would not go along with Mr. Trump’s plan. "When we get to funding the government, obviously it'll be done on a bipartisan basis," he said. House Budget Chair Diane Black (R-TN) stated, “We’re doing our own budget. The president does his own budget. We’ll see how they match at the end of the day.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated, "I think Democrats and Republicans are going to run away from [the president’s budget]." Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) said that she and other members of her party would “fight tooth and nail to protect services and investments that are critical to hardworking American families and communities across the country.”

Congress has not yet finished working on its FY17 spending bills. While Congress has until April 28, when the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires, to either pass another CR or enact full spending bills, the House may take up its FY17 Defense spending bill as soon as this week. The remaining bills will follow, although it is unclear whether other agencies will be funder under a full-year CR or some combination of a CR and conventional spending bills.