Budget Blueprint: HHS, VA, Treasury, Education and Labor
Published: March 23, 2017
On March 16th, the Trump administration released what is commonly referred to as a “skinny” budget. The 62-page document gives a glimpse into the administration’s priorities for FY 2018, as well as the entire term of the administration.
Below I have summarized and presented highlights of the budget release for the agencies that I track:
Health and Human Services:
- Provides a total discretionary budget for FY 2018 of $65.1B, a 16% decrease over FY 2017 levels.
- Funds the 21st Century Cures Act through a $1.1B appropriation.
- Funds HHS’ highest priorities such as health services through community health centers, early care and education, medical products review and innovation.
- Eliminates programs that are duplicative or have limited impact on public health.
- Strengthens program integrity through $751M for the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control (HCFAC) program, a $70M increase over FY 2017.
- Supports substance abuse treatment, including a $500M increase above FY 2016 levels to expand opioid misuse prevention and treatment.
- Increases FDA medical product user fees to $2B, a $1B increase over FY 2017.
- Reorganizes NIH and reduces funding to $25.9B, a $5.8B decrease.
- Eliminates $403M in health professionals and nurses training programs.
- Eliminates $4.2B for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Services Block Grant.
- Majority of impact on cuts to NIH research efforts and bureau consolidations.
- Targeted increases for health care fraud and abuse and public health efforts.
- Other initiatives focused on state grants and user fees that do not impact contractor addressability.
- Provides a total discretionary budget for FY 2018 of $78.9B, a 6% increase over FY 2017 levels.
- Significantly increases funding for VA medical care, to build an integrated system of care that strengthens services within VA and makes effective use of community services.
- Provides a $4.6B increase in discretionary funding for VA health care.
- Requests legislative authority and $3.5B in mandatory budget authority to continue the Veterans Choice Program.
- Supports programs to aid homeless veterans, provide education benefits, enhance veteran services, and assist with transitioning to civilian life.
- Continues critical investments to optimize productivity and transform VA’s claims processes.
- Invests in IT to improve the efficiency and efficacy of VA services. Provides sufficient funding for sustainment, development, and modernization initiatives that would improve the quality of services provided.
- Proposes additional investments in IT modernization to improve delivery of veteran services.
- Also extends the Veterans Choice Program, which sustains community-based health care and related services.
- Provides a total discretionary budget for FY 2018 of $11.2B, a 4% decrease over FY 2017 levels.
- Brings renewed discipline to the department by focusing resources on collecting revenue, managing the nation’s debt, protecting the financial system from threats, and combating crime and terrorism financing.
- Preserves key operations of the IRS in order to combat identity theft, prevent fraud, and reduce the deficit by enforcing tax laws. Reduces funding by $239M, diverting resources from antiquated operations.
- Strengthens cybersecurity by investing in a department-wide plan to enhance existing systems and reduce fragmentation of IT management across bureaus.
- Redirects resources from duplicative policy offices, thus shrinking the federal workforce and increasing efficiency.
- Prioritizes funding for Treasury’s array of economic enforcement tools.
- Eliminates funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund grants., a savings of $210M from the 2017 annualized CR level.
- Proposes additional migration to electronic-based processes, as well as investments in cybersecurity.
- Other cuts focused on elimination of grants.
- Provides a total discretionary budget for FY 2018 of $59.0B, a 14% decrease over FY 2017 levels.
- Increases investments in public and private school choice by $1.4B, bringing the annual total to $20B and $100B with matching state and local funding.
- Maintains $13B in funding for IDEA programs to support students with special education needs.
- Eliminates $2.4B for Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program.
- Saves $1.2B by eliminating the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school programs.
- Cuts $732M by doing away with the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant program.
- Maintains the Pell Grant program, while proposing a cancellation of $3.9B from unobligated carryover funding.
- Eliminates or reduces over 20 categorical programs including Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership, Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property, and International Education programs.
- Majority of cuts focused on grant programs.
- Very little reliance on contract support.
- Provides a total discretionary budget for FY 2018 of $9.6B, a 21% decrease over FY 2017 levels.
- Focuses the department on its highest priority functions and disinvests in activities that are duplicative, unnecessary, unproven, or ineffective.
- Expands reemployment eligibility assessments to reduce improper payments in unemployment insurance benefits and reduce time unemployed.
- Eliminates the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), resulting in savings of $434M.
- Saves $60M by eliminating the Bureau of International Labor Affairs grant funding.
- Closes Job Corps centers that do a poor job educating and training disadvantaged youth for jobs.
- Decreases federal support for job training and employment services formula grants, shifting more funding responsibility to the states.
- Eliminates less critical technical assistance grants from the Office of Disability Employment Policy.
- Nearly all cuts are to grant programs for international labor affairs and job training.