Thursday, March 16, 2017

The President's Budget: Winners, Losers, and What's Next

From the NY Times http://nyti.ms/2nIUEtp
President Trump's budget plan released this morning shows sharp changes in spending compared to previous federal budgets, including the elimination of many programs for low-income people such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Legal Services Corporation, and Community Services Block Grants.

Other programs to be eliminated include the Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs AmeriCorps and other community service programs, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,  and more than 50 programs in the EPA. You can read a full list via The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense are all seeing increases in their budgets under the new plan. The full budget blueprint is available here.

So what's next? Congress will begin holding hearings on the President's budget before drafting their own budget resolutions. They may follow the President's recommendations or set their own. Once the House and Senate come together on a budget (which is supposed to happen by April 15 but rarely has in recent years), Congress will introduce and pass appropriations bills based on their targets. (For a more nuanced description of how this works, take a look at The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Introduction to the Federal Budget Process.

As the budget makes its way through Congress, we will continue to update you on ways to weigh in. For now, you can call your Congresspeople to share your initial thoughts on the legislation (in fact, you might want to go ahead and save their phone numbers in your phone to make future calls easier). Visit http://whoismyrepresentative.com/ to find contact information for your Representative and Senators, and give them a call today.

If you want to learn more, the Coalition on Human Needs will hold a webinar on Tuesday specifically around cuts to human needs programs. You can register here.

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