President Donald Trump’s first federal budget proposes deep cuts in discretionary spending to many departments that impact nonprofits while boosting financial support to defense, homeland security and veterans’ affairs.
The budget unveiled today by the Office of Management and Budget proposes defunding 18 agencies, including the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Legal Services Corporation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Most of the cuts had been expected in recent weeks. The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program, which provides funds to local food banks and Meals On Wheels, would be eliminated along with funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI).
Trump’s so-called “America First Budget” would increase discretionary spending for defense by 10 percent, or $52 billion, for Homeland Security by 7 percent, or $2.8 billion, and for veterans’ affairs by 6 percent, or $4.4 billion. Fourteen other departments would see funding slashed by a combined 15 percent, or $58 billion.
Defense had the largest allocation last year, at $522 billion, more than all the other 16 departments combined ($500 billion). Under the Trump budget, the department would get about $574 billion, compared with $449 billion for all other departments. In many cases, the document cites programs as duplicative, underperforming, or lacking evidence of success as reasons for elimination or reduction. In other cases, the blue print indicates oversight be given to states and localities.
The CDBG program, for instance, is described as “not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results.” In the case of CDFI, private institutions now have “ready access to capital needed to extend credit and provide financial services to underserved communities.
“The administration’s opening budget proposal, while non-binding, is at odds with our recently-adopted Statement