On May 23rd, President Trump released his FY18 budget request to the public. As expected, there was a $54 million increase in defense spending and a cut to the Non-Defense Discretionary accounts for the same amount. Almost every agency, excluding Defense, VA and Homeland, have reduced spending requests.
State Department and Foreign Assistance
The budget remained consistent with the President’s proposal in mid-March, proposing to slash the State Department’s budget by 32% for a total of $37.6 billion. This funding is split between base funding (long-term, enduring development and diplomacy programs) and Overseas Contingency Operations(OCO) funding.
The overall foreign aid and diplomacy spending request is $40.1 billion compared to FY17 levels of $53.1 billion. The White House has also split this funding between core funding ($28 billion) and OCO funds ($12 billion). Items of note include:
* The elimination of the Food for Peace program, which was just funded at over $1 billion in FY17 to fight famine across the world, and the McGovern-Dole program, shifting all funding into the International Disaster Assistance Account.
* The elimination of funding for international family planning programs
* A sharp cut to Global Health funding by $2.2 billion
* 37 countries will lose economic and development assistance
* Disaster aid (IDA) would receive a 43% cut
Basic Education and Development Assistance
The Development Assistance account, where the majority of basic education funding resides and has traditionally focused on long-term development efforts and overseen by USAID, has been merged with the Economic Support fund, which is overseen by State and is traditionally focused on providing assistance to strategic partners, to create the new Economic Support and Development Fund account. The new account would be overseen by the State Department and would see a 44% cut comparted to FY17 levels and assistance to 37 countries will be zeroed out. The Office of Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3) has received a 60% cut.
Basic Education funding will receive a 53% cut when compared to FY17 enacted levels. When comparing FY17 request to FY18 request, funding is cut by 33%. Funding for basic education will come from the newly created Economic Support and Development Fund account, overseen by State, and the Economic Support and Development Fund OCO, overseen by the Department of Defense and the State Department.
The President’s budget, by all accounts, is considered dead on arrival by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. House and Senate Appropriations Committees will begin holding hearings on the Administration’s request and will begin drafting their own appropriation bills in the coming months. Congress has until September 30th to negotiate and pass FY18 appropriation bills before funding for the government runs out.
Finally, as a reference, below are important links regarding the budget:
* The State Department FY18 budget page, including the Congressional Budget Justification
* The President’s Budget
* Major Savings and Reforms of the FY18 Budget (published by the White House)
* Budget Appendixes for each agency
* Supplemental Materials Released by the White House for the Budget
* USGLC’s Statement and Analysis of the Budget
* MFAN’s Statement on the Budget
* InterAction’s Budget Table with updated numbers