March 28, 2017 – The Trump Administration has circulated a list of spending cuts it proposes for FY17 as Congress is considering funding from the April 28 end of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) to the September 30 end of the fiscal year. Many of them are similar to cuts proposed in the Administration’s FY18 “skinny budget,” and others cover items not mentioned in that document, including a reduction of $50 million or $68 million in USDA Section 521 Rental Assistance (RA).
The Administration’s list describes its $1.337 billion level for Section 521 RA as a $50 million cut. It is comparing that amount to the $1.387 billion level under the current CR. (For FY16, RA received $1.39 billion, and all programs were cut 0.19% in the FY17 CR.) The amount requested by the Obama Administration for FY17, however, and contained in last year’s House and Senate FY17 appropriations bills, is $1.405 billion. Compared to that, $1.337 billion would be a $68 million cut.
The justification given for the proposed RA reduction is: “The rental assistance program provides the project based rent to USDA financed properties. For FY17 USDA has excess funding available to forward fund October contract renewals in September. While this provides administrative efficiencies for USDA, the forward funding is not necessary, so those balances could be rescinded.”
It is not at all clear that Congress will implement any of the requested cuts in another Continuing Resolution or in individual appropriations bills.
Among the many other cuts proposed for FY17, the Administration would:
- eliminate FY17 CDFI Fund funding;
- eliminate the HUD account that includes SHOP, the Rural Capacity Building program, the Section 4 capacity building funds, and a rehab pilot program for veterans;
- cut CDBG funding in half, from almost $3 billion to almost $1.5 billion;
- eliminate HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative;
- eliminate NeighborWorks’ pass-through funding for its members (while continuing its administrative funding, in contrast to the FY18 budget, which proposes to eliminate the organization entirely);
- eliminate DOL migrant and seasonal farmworker training; and
- cut the portions of FY17 LIHEAP and CSBG funding that have not yet been apportioned.
Read HAC Executive Director Moises Loza’s statement on the FY18 “skinny budget” proposal.