CHN: President Trump’s FY19 Budget Expected Feb. 12

The Trump administration is expected to release its FY19 budget on Feb. 12. Advocates are worried that it will be similar to the Trump FY18 budget, which called for trillions of dollars of cuts to non-defense programs, including $2.5 trillion in cuts over 10 years to programs serving low- and moderate-income people. Along with slashing SNAP/food stamps, housing assistance, job training programs, afterschool programs, social services, and public and environmental health programs, the Trump FY18 budget eliminated heating and cooling assistance for low-income people and fundamentally changed the Medicaid program. Just two days after the Trump FY19 budget is released, CHN, along with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Center for American Progress, and the Food Research & Action Center, are hosting a webinar on Feb. 14 at 12:30pm ET on The Trump Budget: What You Need to Know.

The Trump administration’s proposal may be the only FY19 budget released by the GOP. Rep. Steve Womack (R-WV), the new chair of the House Budget Committee, has said he may not take up a budget resolution this year and instead focus on “process reform.” While Congress is technically required to adopt a budget resolution, it is a non-binding blueprint that is not signed by the president and does not become law, and the two chambers of Congress often fail to agree on a budget resolution. Failure to pass a FY19 budget does not stop Congress from working on and passing FY19 appropriations bills.

Others have speculated that the reason Republicans do not want to pass a budget resolution this year is that it will make it easier for them to avoid showing that the tax bill they pushed through Congress in December won’t pay for itself and will raise the federal debt. Failure to adopt a budget resolution, however, would mean Republicans could not use a special process known reconciliation, which allows measures with a budgetary impact (like tax cuts, cuts to entitlement programs, or a repeal of the Affordable Care Act) to be passed in the Senate with only a simple majority instead of the usual 60-vote threshold required in that chamber.

CHN will be producing a special Human Needs Report on President Trump’s FY19 budget and will be creating a FY19 budget resource page on our website; stay tuned for these developments. Advocates can register for the Feb. 14th webinar on the Trump budget here.

Budget and Appropriations