WASHINGTON — President Trump’s proposed budget takes a cleaver to domestic programs, with many agencies taking percentage spending cuts in the double digits.
Community development block grants. The Weatherization Assistance Program. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The National Endowment for the Arts. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. All would be axed if Congress adopts Trump’s budget.
Also proposed for elimination are lesser-known bureaucracies like the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program and the Inter-American Foundation.
Many of those programs have constituencies in states and cities across the country — and their champions in Congress. “The president’s beholden to nobody but the people who elected him, and yes, I understand that every lawmaker over there has pet projects,” said Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney. “That’s the nature of the beast.”
He said not every program would disappear overnight. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which now receives $485 million a year, might still get some federal funding in 2018, for example. “It might take a while to unwind that relationship. It’s just the nature of contracts,” Mulvaney said.
Trump’s budget says hundreds of programs and agencies would be eliminated — with more than 50 in the Environmental Protection Agency. But his first budget proposal identified 62 specifically. The list:
Department of Agriculture
Water and Wastewater loan and grant program ($498 million): “Rural communities can be served by private sector financing or other federal investments in rural water infrastructure, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Funds,” the budget says.
McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program ($202 million): Trump’s budget says the program — a sort of Third World school lunch project — “lacks evidence that it is being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity.”
Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration ($221 million): Obama’s 2017 budget touted the agency as ” the only federal government agency with a mission and programs focused exclusively on economic development.” The Trump budget says it has “limited measurable impacts and duplicates other federal programs.”
Minority Business Development Agency ($32 million): The White House says this minority business incubator program is “duplicative” of other programs in the Small Business Administration.
Department of Education
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program ($2.4 billion): The White House says the program is “poorly targeted and spread thinly across thousands of districts with scant evidence of impact.”
21st Century Community Learning Centers program ($1.2 billion): The formula grants to states support before- and after-school and summer programs. “The programs lacks strong evidence of meeting its objectives, such as improving student achievement,” the budget says.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program ($732 million): This financial aid program, known as SEOG, help give up to $4,000 a year to college students based on financial need. The Trump administration says it’s a “less well-targeted” program than Pell Grants.
Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program ($190 million): The grants are targeted toward students with disabilities or limited English proficiency.
Teacher Quality Partnership ($43 million): A teacher training and recruitment grant program.
Impact Aid Support Payments for Federal Property ($67 million): Obama also proposed the elimination of this program, which reimburses schools for lost tax revenue from tax-exempt federal properties in their districts.
International Education programs ($7 million): This line item funds a variety of exchange programs, migrant schools and special education services abroad.
Department of Energy
Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ($382 million): This alternative energy research program was established by Congress in 2007 with the goal of funding projects that the private sector would not.
Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program: This loan fund finances projects that combat global warming.
Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program: Helps finance fuel-efficient vehicle research. “The private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies,” the White House says.
Weatherization Assistance Program ($121 million): The program helps homeowners make their homes more energy efficient with grants of up to $6,500.
State Energy Program ($28.2 million): Gives grants to states to help them work on energy efficiency and anti-climate change programs.
Department of Health and Human Services
Health professions and nursing training programs ($403 million): Trump’s budget says these programs “lack evidence that they significantly improve the nation’s health workforce.” Instead, Trump wants to provide scholarships and student loans in in exchange for service in areas with a nursing shortage.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program ($3.4 billion): LIHEAP helps the elderly and low-income people pay their heating and power bills.
Community Services Block Grants ($715 million): CSBG is an anti-poverty grant program that the White House says duplicates emergency food assistance and employment programs.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Community Development Block Grant program ($3 billion): CDBG has been a bread-and-butter funding source for local communities for 42 years, totaling more than $150 billion in grants over its history. “The program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results,” Trump’s budget says.
Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing program ($35 million): The affordable housing program supports organizations like the Local Initiatives Support Corp., which the White House says should be privately funded.
Department of the Interior
Abandoned Mine Land grants ($160 million): The Trump administration wants to eliminate a discretionary grant program that it says overlaps with a $2.7 billion permanent fund.
National Heritage Areas ($20 million): These are state-and-federal partnerships to preserve natural, historic, scenic, and cultural resources.
National Wildlife Refuge fund ($480 million): Maintains the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 563 wildlife refuges throughout the country.
Department of Justice
State Criminal Alien Assistance Program ($210 million): Four states receive the bulk of the funding from this program, which reimburses states for the cost of incarcerating criminal immigrants.
Department of Labor
Senior Community Service Employment Program ($434 million): SCSEP is a job training program for low-income people 55 and older that the White House says is “ineffective.”
Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants ($11 million)
Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development
The Global Climate Change Initiative ($1.3 billion) was an Obama administration proposal to support the Paris climate agreement. It includes the Green Climate Fund ($250 million), the Strategic Climate Fund ($60 million) and the Clean Technology Fund ($171 million).
Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund ($70 million): The account allows the president to “provide humanitarian assistance for unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs worldwide,” but Trump said the mission is best left to international and non-governmental relief organizations
The East-West Center ($16 million): Chartered by Congress as the Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West, the Honolulu-based nonprofit has a mission of strengthening relations among Pacific Rim countries.
Department of Transportation
The Essential Air Service program ($175 million) provides federal subsidies for commercial air service at rural airports. EAS flights are not full and have high subsidy costs per passenger. Trump’s budget says several of those airports are close to major airports, and that rural communities could be served by other modes of transportation.
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants ($499 million): The Obama-era TIGER program funded multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional projects, but the White House wants to cut existing infrastructure spending in favor of his own $1 billion infrastructure proposal.
Department of the Treasury
Community Development Financial Institutions grants ($210 million): Trump’s budget says the 23-year-old program to support community banks and credit unions is obsolete.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Geographic watershed programs ($427 million) like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative ($40 million) and the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Initiative ($14 million): The Trump budget would turn over responsibility for those efforts to state and regional governments.
Fifty other EPA programs ($347 million) including Energy Star, Targeted Airshed Grants, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, and infrastructure assistance to Alaska Native Villages and the Mexico border.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Office of Education ($115 million), which the Trump budget says duplicates efforts by the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.
Independent agencies and commissions
African Development Foundation ($26 million): An independent foreign aid agency focusing on economic development in Africa.
Appalachian Regional Commission ($119 million): A 52-year-old agency focused on economic growth in 420 counties.
Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board ($11 million): The agency was created by the Clean Air Act of 1990 and investigates chemical accidents.
Corporation for National and Community Service ($771 million): The agency is best known for its Americorps community service program.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($485 million): Supports public television and radio stations, including the PBS television network and, indirectly, National Public Radio.
Delta Regional Authority ($45 million): An economic development agency for the eight-state Mississippi Delta region.
Denali Commission ($14 million): A state and federal economic development agency for Alaska.
Institute of Museum and Library Services ($231 million): Provides money to the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.
Inter-American Foundation ($23 million): Promotes “citizen-led grassroots development” in Latin America and the Caribbean.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency ($66 million): Promotes U.S. exports in energy, transportation, and telecommunications.
Legal Services Corp. ($366 million): A 43-year-old congressionally chartered organization that helps provide free civil legal advice to poor people.
National Endowment for the Arts ($152 million): Encourages participation in the arts.
National Endowment for the Humanities ($155 million): Supports scholarship into literature and culture.
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp. ($175 million): Better known as Neighborworks America, the organization supports local affordable housing programs.
Northern Border Regional Commission ($7 million): A regional economic development agency serving parts of Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
Overseas Private Investment Corp.($63 million): Encourages U.S. private investment in the developing world.
U.S. Institute of Peace ($40 million): Government-run think tank focusing on conflict prevention.
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness ($4 million): An independent agency coordinating the federal government’s efforts to reduce homelessness.
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars ($11 million): A program to provide scholarships and fellowships in social sciences and humanities.