Leaked Budget Documents Offer Foreboding Glimpse into Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Plan
Third Way, a self-described “fresh-thinking” centrist organization, released an apparently leaked budget spreadsheet dated May 8, 2017, this past Friday reporting to have numbers from the President’s FY 2018 Proposed Budget. It is hard to confirm the veracity of the numbers but, if real, the spreadsheet demonstrates a budget blueprint that could cause significant “harm to the poor and those struggling to enter the middle-class.”
Similarly, another respected Washington information source, Politico, reports today that SNAP is expected to be trimmed by more than 25% (Associated Press reported on Sunday a cut of $193 billion over 10 years), requiring states to come up with a 20% match. Many WIC families depend upon the support that they receive from SNAP, and cuts of this size would hit WIC families hard. Bloomberg reports that the Administration’s proposed cuts of $1.7 trillion to major social and entitlement programs for lower-income Americans, including SNAP and other programs, are part of an effort to balance the budget within a decade.
According to the Third Way release, WIC would be tagged to receive $5.15 billion, down from $6.35 billion in FY 2017. The President’s budget is expected to be released tomorrow, Tuesday, May 23, when NWA will offer an evaluation of the President’s official WIC budget plan.
Many elements of the President’s Skinny Budget, released by the White House earlier this spring, are mirrored in the leaked budget spreadsheet.
The Trump Budget Plan will affect WIC families in significant ways beyond their participation in WIC. According to Third Way, “the proposed budget eliminates the Social Service Block Grant, a roughly $2 billion program to help low-income families raise healthy children. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is zeroed-out, cutting more than $3 billion in heating assistance to the poor. It chops substance abuse and mental health funding by one-fifth. Public housing would lose nearly $2 billion in operating and capital improvements.”
Whatever we discover in the President’s Budget plan tomorrow, there is expected to be significant pushback on a number of priorities from both Republicans and Democrats to thwart efforts to implement the President’s budget plan.
FY 2018 Appropriations Process Underway
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will appear before the House Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, which sets WIC’s annual funding level, this Wednesday, May 24 for a Budget Hearing.
Affordable Care Act Repeal Update
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is expected to reveal this Wednesday if the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) cuts the deficit enough to permit Senate consideration under reconciliation procedures that would allow for a simple majority vote. If CBO finds that the bill does not adequately cut the deficit, House Republican leaders will need to tweak the bill again to satisfy this requirement.