Below is a brief summary of the Office of Management and Budget’s recently issued “America First, A budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” The Blueprint only provides details on discretionary spending proposals. The full budget, to be released later this spring, will include specific tax proposals and a “full fiscal path.”
The Blueprint recommends the elimination of several independent agencies such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, Chemical Safety Board, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corporation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and US Institute of Peace. The need for regulatory reform is emphasized. Interestingly, the use of internal guidance documents aimed at enhancing government management is criticized as deemphasizing the agencies’ primary “mission achievement.”
- Department of Agriculture. It is proposed to eliminate the Department’s Water and Wastewater Loan program, but fully fund the wildland fire preparedness and suppression program.
- Department of Commerce. The budget “zones out” targeted National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant programs supporting coastal and marine management programs.
- Department of Energy. Provides $120 million to restart the licensing program for Yucca Mountain, and provides $6.5 billion to cleanup lingering nuclear waste problems.
- Department of Homeland Security. $2.6 billion would be provided to enhance border security.
- Department of Housing and Urban Development. The budget would eliminate the Community Block Programs which are viewed as being inefficient. More money would be provided to mitigate lead-based paint and other hazards.
- Department of the Interior. This Department’s licensing procedures will be streamlined, and more access will be provided to federal lands for energy development. The Abandoned Mine Grants Program would be eliminated, and the funding of additional purchases of federal land would be reduced.
- Department of Justice. More immigration judges will be hired, and more attorneys will be provided to acquire the necessary land along the Southwest Border.
- Department of Labor. The budget proposes the elimination of the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration’s “unproven” training grants program.
- Department of State. Proposes the elimination of the Global Climate Change Initiative, and reduces payments to the United Nation’s climate change programs.
- Department of Transportation. The budget proposes to shift the air traffic control function of the Federal Aviation Administration to an independent non-governmental organization; reduces Federal subsidies supporting Amtrak’s passenger rail service, and limits funding for new grants for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Program.
- Department of the Treasury. The Blueprint proposes the empowerment of the Secretary of the Treasury who heads the Financial Stability Oversight Council to improve and enhance financial regulatory reforms.
- Environmental Protection Agency. The budget will provide “robust funding” for critical drinking and waste water infrastructure; discontinue funding for the Clean Power Plan and international climate change programs; place new controls on Superfund’s administrative costs and emphasizes cleanup efficiency efforts, would prioritize the use of existing funds to clean up hazardous waste sites, and remove the barriers that delay the return of sites to the community. EPA’s environment enforcement would be concentrated on programs that have not been delegated to the states, and reduces the budget of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance by $129 million. Funding for the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes Restoration Initiatives would be eliminated. Other programs that would be eliminated include the Energy Star and Air shed Grants programs.