(Washington, DC) – On Thursday, March 16, President Trump released his fiscal year 2018 (FY18) “skinny” budget outline. The budget outline includes proposed funding levels for discretionary programs. It does not include any figures for key programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare, or Medicaid. In addition, the outline does not include Washington, DC’s federal payment, which includes critical federal funding for programs and agencies such as DC Public Schools, DC Public Charter Schools, the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DCTAG), the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), Emergency Planning, the Presidential Inauguration, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
After initial review of the budget outline, Mayor Muriel Bowser and City Administrator Rashad Young expressed concerns about significant cuts to housing, the Environmental Protection Agency, healthcare, the arts, and the State Department. Specifically, the budget includes a $4 million reduction to HOME grants facilitated by the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as well as community development block grants. Both grants support DHCD’s efforts to secure affordable housing for DC residents. The budget outline also seeks to decrease support programming for minority-owned businesses which would compromise the long-term vitality of DC’s minority business community.
“In recent years, Washington, DC has seen tremendous growth and today our economy is one of the top three strongest local economies in the country. Now, at a time when we are working to ensure that all of DC’s residents benefit from our city’s prosperity, we have significant concerns about the President’s initial budget outline,” said Mayor Bowser. “By making cuts to programs that support basic needs like housing and healthcare, this budget will force our city to make tough choices about programs that not only promote growth, but enable us to support our most vulnerable residents. As we continue analyzing the budget and advocating for programs that move our city and country forward, my Administration will work with the community and our partners on the Council to promote and defend DC's values.”
In explaining how federal agencies will be impacted by the proposed FY18 budget, City Administrator Young highlighted some of the Bowser Administration’s key concerns, including the elimination of the following programs:
- CDBG program
- HOME Investments Partnership Program
- TIGER grants
- New Starts Program
- LIHEAP program
- Weatherization Assistance Program
- Clean Power Plan
- Interagency Council on Homelessness
- COPS grants
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants
- Minority Business Development Agency
- National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting
“As outlined, President Trump’s budget would undermine much of the progress we have made in Washington, DC over the past two years,” said City Administrator Young. “This proposal would force the city to make some very hard choices in order to keep our commitment to expanding prosperity for all DC residents.”
The Mayor’s Office of Federal and Regional Affairs (OFRA) will continue to analyze the President’s first budget request and continue to communicate the Mayor’s concerns directly to the Trump Administration as well as Congress. The Bowser Administration will also work with associations such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, African-American Mayors Association, and the National Association of Counties to advocate against any cuts to critical programs such as the Community Development Block Grant Program, the EPA, COPS grants and other key priorities.
The full budget proposal is expected to be released by President Trump and the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in May. At that time, Congress will begin consideration of FY18 spending bills. The final budget is due to be passed by Congress before October 1, which begins the next fiscal year.