Executive Branch Activity
Trump’s FY 2018 “Skinny Budget” Expected Mid-March
The Trump Administration is reporting it will release its FY 2018 budget proposal by mid-March, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The proposal is expected to be a “skinny budget” and provide an outline of the President’s fiscal goals, while a more comprehensive budget plan is not anticipated until May.
While constructing a budget, the President is expected to face challenges as he attempts to keep his campaign promises of enacting tax cuts for the middle class and to “look for every last dollar of savings” while finding ways to pay for a border wall and a $1 trillion infrastructure package. In its pursuit of a balanced budget, the Trump Administration recently tapped Paul Winfree, a former Heritage Foundation analyst, to join the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and work with recently confirmed Director Mick Mulvaney to craft the budget proposal. Winfree helped craft the conservative foundation’s budget plan that calls for overhauling entitlement programs, eliminating regional Environmental Protection Agency programs, and abolishing several Department of Transportation grant programs, among other things.
However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated on Sunday that the President’s FY 2018 budget proposal will not contain large cuts to entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. The President is expected to highlight his budget plans when he addresses Congress in a joint session on Tuesday.
Congress Looks to Finalize Funding for the Current Fiscal Year
As the Trump Administration constructs a budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year, appropriators in Congress are reportedly working to finalize FY 2017 spending bills as the April 28th expiration of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) approaches. It remains unclear, however, whether the spending bills will be passed individually, through an omnibus, or, more likely, through several minibus packages. The process could be complicated by an anticipated military supplemental and an initial request of $12-$15 billion for the border wall.
- On Tuesday, February 28, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, will hold an oversight hearing on the Farm Credit Administration.
- On Tuesday, February 28, the House Committee on Financial Services will hold a markup of the Committee’s budget views and estimates for FY 2018.
- On Tuesday, February 28, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, will hold a Member’s Day hearing.
- On Tuesday, February 28, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Interior and Environment, will hold a Member’s Day hearing.
- On Wednesday, March 1, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security, will hold a Member’s Day hearing.
- On Wednesday, March 1, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, will hold a Member’s Day hearing.
- On Wednesday, March 1, the House Committee on Agriculture will hold a business meeting to consider the Committee’s Budget Views and Estimates Letter for agencies and programs under its jurisdiction for FY 2018.
- On Thursday, March 2, the House Committee on the Budget will hold a Member’s Day hearing.