Tag: Federal Funding
In coming weeks, BirminghamWatch will look at a number of the programs on President Trump’s chopping block and ask, “What If.”
Stories behind the programs targeted for elimination show why they’re valued or disdained, troubled or effective, applicable or outdated, but perhaps most of all, entangled in the lives of Alabama’s people.
Trump’s wish list of budget eliminations connect with his overall efforts to get rid of programs he opposes. And that connects as well to his more recent move to rescind some of the money Congress already authorized for specific programs.
On May 8, the Trump administration submitted a request to Congress to pull back $15.4 billion already approved for funding various programs. It’s called a “rescission.” On June 5, the White House had amended the rescission request, removing some cuts and modifying others.
As of June 7, CNN reported, the House had approved the president’s proposal by a narrow vote – 210 to 206. The rescissions, according to CNN, are unlikely to go far in the Senate. Conservative groups urge passage of the package, while Democrats are attacking the proposed cuts. “While the package nixes $15 billion, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it will essentially only save the government about $1 billion,” according to CNN.
“At the direction of President Trump, the Office of Management and Budget has worked diligently to identify wasteful and unnecessary spending already approved by Congress,” said Russ Vought, deputy director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Specifically, the White House, said, “the proposed rescissions affect programs of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and the Treasury, as well as of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Railroad Retirement Board, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the United States Agency for International Development.”
According to the nonprofit Bipartisan Policy Center, Trump’s move to rescind approved funding is unusual – at least for a president. “This budget tool is not regularly used by a president; the last time was by the Clinton administration,” the BPC says on its website. “While it is unusual for a president to seek a rescission, Congress itself regularly does rescission packages within annual supplemental appropriations so that funds that have not been spent can be used elsewhere.”
Vought cast the president’s rescission request in a somewhat different light. “While this authority hasn’t been used in nearly two decades, every president from Gerald Ford to Bill Clinton successfully rescinded funds,” he wrote. “From 1974 to 2000, approximately 40 (percent) of presidential rescission proposals were enacted in some form. Members of Congress in both parties have supported rescissions packages similar to the one President Trump is proposing.” Read more.
If President Trump were to get the federal budget he proposed in February, people in Alabama would stand to lose programs designed to improve distressed neighborhoods, provide affordable housing in rural communities, assist small manufacturers, support the training of nurses, provide legal assistance to low-income residents and veterans, pay for economic and workforce development in Appalachia and support farm workers.
Trump’s 66 proposed cuts – a wish list he put out to signal policy priorities – would touch a wide array of programs affecting people, whether they live in urban or rural areas. Those employed in health care, space exploration and farming, and educational opportunities for students would be affected, among others.
Noting that Trump’s proposed cuts would bring steep cuts to domestic programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), Community Development Block Grants, housing programs, worker training programs, and more,” Rep. Terri Sewell, a Democrat from Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, portrayed the president’s efforts as bad for needy Americans, including those in her state.
Trump’s wish list of budget eliminations connects with his overall efforts to get rid of programs he opposes. And that connects as well to his more recent move to rescind some of the money Congress already authorized for specific programs. Read more.
Of the programs on the original list of 66 that the president proposed to eliminate, there were 40 that would impact Alabama, based on a BirminghamWatch examination. Read more.