The Trump administration released its first official federal budget “blueprint” the third week of March and it slashes many federal programs and completely eliminates others. The administration states that the slashes are meant to offset increased defense spending. This “blueprint” will act as a guide for the official budget, which will be negotiated and then later approved by congress. The $54 billion dollars in federal cuts means major changes are inevitable for grant funded programs and grant writing professionals.
The administration is claiming that many federal programs are simply not effective or duplicate efforts that are already being funded. Some of the departments and programs that could be cut include; The National Endowment for the Arts (includes ArtWorks), The National Endowment for the Humanities (includes Summer Seminars and Institutes), Community Services Block Grants, Community Development Block Grants, Community Development Financial Institutions, Corporation of Community and National Services (includes AmeriCorps programs), Institute of Museum and Library Services, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
According to a CNN article, the following cuts, with percentages, are being proposed:
- Environmental Protection Agency: $2.6 billion, or 31.4%
- State Department: $11 billion, or 28.7%
- Labor Department: $2.5 billion, or 20.7%
- Agriculture Department: $5 billion, or 20.7%
- US Army Corps of Engineers: $1 billion, a 16.3% cut
- Cuts National Institutes of Health spending by $5.8 billion, a nearly 20% cut. It also overhauls NIH to focus on “highest priority” efforts and eliminates the Fogarty International Center.
- Other double-digit cuts include Commerce at 15.7%; Education at 13.5%; Housing and Urban Development at 13.2%; Transportation at 12.7%, and Interior at 11.7%.
The cuts are facing criticism. Much negotiation is expected prior to the approval of the budget. Unfortunately, there is no way to know what the future holds, but the administration states that many of the relationships with federal programs will be cut over time and will not end overnight. In past administrations, many changes have occurred and federal funding has shifted from one area to the next. Grants will still exist, however there will be fewer grants in certain areas.
The grants that have already been awarded are also facing much scrutiny. According to an NPR article, “The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called “sanctuary cities, generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.” This means that if you are in one of those sanctuary cities you may be facing more scrutiny on how you spend your grant funds and how you comply with Federal immigration laws.