White House Releases Expanded Budget Including Major Cuts

The Trump administration has published part two of the “Budget for a Better America,” which expands upon previously introduced spending cuts. Last week, the president’s $4.75 trillion budget introduced cuts to federal employee retirement plans and the reorganization of the Office of Personnel Management.

The expanded proposal details program-level specific cuts in the budgets of agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of State, and the Department of Transportation.

The EPA’s budget was cut by 31.2 percent, the State Department’s budget by 23.3 percent, and the Transportation Department’s budget by 21.5 percent.

The proposal outlines $28 billion in program eliminations and $20.8 billion in reductions.

Programs to be eliminated include the Department of Health and Human Services’ Social Services Block Grant, the State Department’s Food for Progress Food Aid Program, and the Security and Exchange Commission’s Commission Reserve Fund.

President Trump also eliminated several small agencies entirely. These include the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The budget explains that these cuts represent the “Administration's efforts to eliminate agencies and programs that are largely duplicative of efforts carried out by other agencies.”

The budget recommends that several programs, such as National Public Radio, which would see federal funding eliminated under this budget, increase corporate sponsorships, which according to the budget already make up 85 percent of program revenues.

Consistently, the president discusses the importance of eliminating federal spending to increase private and state participation in programs and funding.

The budget also takes aim at hiring reform within the federal government in a bid to revive the internship program. The budget notes, “New hires of student interns fell from about 35,000 in 2010 to 4,000 in 2018,” and recommends removing the current 15 percent direct hire cap for interns.

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