Federal Relations

March 11, 2019

President’s FY2020 Budget

Today, the Administration released its FY 2020 President’s budget request (PBR) to Congress. This budget is the first step in the annual Congressional appropriations cycle. The annual PBR is a political and policy document indicative of the goals of the  Administration for the coming year.

The $4.7 trillion FY 2020 budget released today would sharply reduce spending on safety-net programs, while effectively exempting the Pentagon from strict spending caps set to take effect in FY 2020.

The PBR assumes the scheduled FY 2020 and 2021 sequester cuts to domestic spending, which is effectively a 10 percent reduction to nondefense programs from current levels. The budget would reduce the overall level of nondefense spending by nearly $30 billion reduction and would increase military spending by 5 percent, to $750 billion from $716 billion received in FY 2019. It requests $8.6 billion for new barriers along the southern U.S. border, including $5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and $3.6 billion for the Defense Department’s military-construction budget. The president’s blueprint would also provide additional funding to boost manpower at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, and it proposes policy changes to end so-called sanctuary cities.

The Administration’s budget proposed $2.7 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade of which $1.9 trillion is cuts to mandatory spending programs.  Specifically within those programs, the Administration proposes to cut $22 billion from safety-net programs next year—$327 billion over the next decade—and proposes new work requirements for recipients of food stamps, Medicaid, and federal housing programs.

Within the discretionary nondefense side of the ledger, cuts were proposed to:

  • $87.1 billion for HHS (a 12 percent cut)
  • $34.36 billion for NIH (a 12 percent or $4.9 billion cut)
  • $5.8 billion for HRSA (a $1 billion cut)
  • $5.27 billion for CDC (a $1.2 billion cut)
  • $31.7 billion for Energy, (an 11 percent cut) and requests $5.5 billion for Office of Science (a 9 percent decrease) while eliminating Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)
  • $62.0 billion for ED (an $8.5 billion or 12 percent cut) and eliminating, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
  • $12.2 billion for Commerce (a $1.0 billion or a 9.3-percent increase), but eliminations to the  Sea Grant, Coastal Zone Management Grants, and the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.
  • $12.5 billion for Interior (a 14 percent cut)
  • $7.1 billion for NSF (a 9 percent cut)
  • $21 billion for NASA (a 1.4 percent increase)

The budget specifics for HHS, ED, Energy, DOD, Interior, NOAA, and NASA should be forthcoming this week.

Other items included in the budget, the PBR proposes to streamline student loan repayment by consolidating multiple IDR plans into a single plan. The Single IDR plan would cap a borrower’s monthly payment at 12.5 percent of discretionary income. For undergraduate borrowers, any balance remaining after 180 months of repayment would be forgiven. For borrowers with any graduate debt, any balance remaining after 30 years of repayment would be forgiven.  It would expand Pell Grant eligibility to include high-quality short-term programs. The budget proposes to restructure and streamline the TRIO and GEAR UP programs by consolidating them into a $950 million State formula grant.

NIH would continue to address the opioid epidemic, make progress on developing a universal flu vaccine, and support the next generation of researchers. The PBR includes a new, dedicated effort to support research and develop new treatments for childhood cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease among children and adolescents in the United States. The basic biology of childhood cancers is not fully understood and differs from that of adult cancers. The Budget includes increased funding and an innovative initiative to enable the Nation’s best researchers and doctors to learn from every child with cancer, providing the opportunity to comprehend finally the unique causes and the best cures for childhood cancer.