On Monday February 12, the President released his first full fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget. It was released just two days after the Congress had passed and the President signed a budget agreement (PL 115-123) that means many of numbers in the budget are off and well below what was agreed to on the previous Friday.
This full budget, titled An American Budget, details spending cuts that will provide for an increase in Defense Department spending (as was agreed to by Congress on February 9) but proposes and rejects the agreed to domestic spending increases also included in that February 9, 2018 deal.
In a repeat of last year, the Administration would eliminate and cut a number of human service programs: elimination of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), elimination of the 21st Century Afterschool Learning Centers, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Community Services Block Grant (HHS), and the Community Development Block Grant (Housing). In addition, they propose cuts to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) of $1.5 billion to the base grant of $16.5 billion and elimination of the TANF $608 million contingency fund, cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP-food stamps) and again pushing cuts to Medicaid by creating a per capita cap or block grant.
This budget proposal which totals $4.4 trillion does not claim to balance the budget in ten years and instead projects a budget deficit in 2019 of approximately $800 billion although budget deficit projections for the current FY 2018 are projected to be more than $1 trillion. It does propose cuts in mandatory spending including those just listed.
Within the Department of Health and Human Services, discretionary spending is reduced to $69 billion (again—like last year’s budget). It would be an $18 billion reduction or 21 percent decrease from 2017. The budget proposes $1 billion in HHS for addressing opioids up from the $500 million Congress had adopted in 2016 but likely less than what Congress will provide out of the additional $3 billion agreed to in the February 9, budget agreement for total opioid action.