Legislative Activity

President Trump’s FY 2018 budget

This week brings the long-anticipated full details of President Trump’s FY 2018 budget, which is expected to be released on Tuesday. The Administration’s “skinny budget” released in March indicated the potential for large cuts to several agencies amounting to a $54 billion reduction in domestic spending. The budget also included an equal increase in defense spending. Details of the President’s FY 2018 budget have been leaked and reported in some media outlets, but the actual document has not yet been released. Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney will be in front of the House and Senate Budget Committees on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the proposal in further detail.

Tensions between the President’s proposal and Congressional Republicans are already evident, and are likely to continue as the process moves forward. Many reached out to Director Mulvaney after the “skinny budget” was released and conveyed their opposition to the drastic cuts to agencies like the Departments of State and Health and Human Services. Some members on the Appropriations Committee have stated that the President’s budget is “largely symbolic” and that there are items that cannot be passed by Congress due to the political backlash members would receive.

Appropriations and Budget Caps

The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations have several hearings scheduled for this week to discuss the President’s budget. Some senior Democratic members on that committee have expressed their concern over the current spending cap, and are likely to make a push to raise the caps set forth in the 2015 budget agreement. Initial reports indicate that the President’s budget will propose a cap of $360 billion in discretionary spending in ten years, which is $200 billion less than the government is currently operating under.

Press reports are indicating that there will be a proposal of approximately $800 billion over ten years in cuts to entitlement programs. President Trump repeatedly promised not to cut Medicare or Social Security on the campaign trail. This budget appears to keep his promise, but may touch on fraud and abuse aspects of those programs, as well as make cuts to the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Such a proposition will be met with significant opposition from Democrats.

This Week’s Hearings:

House Appropriations Committee

  • On Tuesday, May 23, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government has scheduled a hearing titled “IRS Oversight.” The witnesses will be:
    • The Honorable J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for the Tax Administration; and
    • Ms. Nina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, Internal Revenue Service
  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing titled “Budget: USDA Office of the Secretary.” The witness will be:
    • The Honorable Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture;
    • Dr. Robert Johansson, Chief Economist, Department of Agriculture; and
    • Mr. Michael Young, Budget Officer, Department of Agriculture
  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense has scheduled a hearing titled “National Guard and Reserve.” The witnesses will be:
    • General Joseph L. Lengyel, United States National Guard Bureau;
    • Lieutenant General Charles D. Luckey, Chief of the Army Reserve;
    • Vice Admiral Luke M. McCollum, Commander of the Marine Corps Forces Reserve; and
    • Lieutenant General Maryanne Miller, Chief of the Air Force Reserve
  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government has scheduled a hearing titled “General Services Administration.” The witness will be:
    • The Honorable Tim Horne, Administrator, General Services Administration
  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing titled “Corps of Engineers (Civil Works) and the Bureau of Reclamation FY 2018 Budget Requests.” The witnesses will be:
    • Mr. Doug Lamont, Senior Official, Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works);
    • Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers;
    • Mr. Scott J. Cameron, Special Assistant, Department of the Interior; and
    • Mr. Alan Mikkelsen, Acting Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation
  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing titled “Department of Education Budget.” The witness will be:
    • The Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education
  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing titled “Budget-Indian Health Service.” The witness will be:
    • Rear Admiral Chris Buchanan, Acting Director, Indian Health Service
  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing titled “Department of Justice Budget.” The witness will be:
    • The Honorable Jefferson Sessions, Attorney General

House Budget Committee

  • On Wednesday, May 24, the House Budget Committee has scheduled a hearing titled “The President’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget.” The witness will be:
    • The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director, Office of Management and Budget

Senate Appropriations Committee

  • On Wednesday, May 24, the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing to examine the President’s proposed budget request and justification for fiscal year 2018 for the Navy and Marine Corps. The witnesses will be:
    • The Honorable Sean J. Stackley, Acting Secretary, U.S. Navy;
    • Admiral John M. Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations; and
    • General Robert B. Neller, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
  • On Thursday, May 25, the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee has scheduled a hearing to examine the President’s proposed budget request and justification for fiscal year 2018 for the Department of Justice. The witness will be:
    • The Honorable Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice

Senate Budget Committee

  • On Thursday, May 25, the Senate Budget Committee has scheduled a hearing to examine the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Proposal. The witness will be:
    • The Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director, White House Office of Management and Budget