More Budget Cuts On the Horizon

Despite the belt-tightening on the federal budget in recent years, in part a result of the ten-year budget caps created by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the new Administration is planning additional “dramatic” cuts, according to The Hill. “Donald Trump is ready to take an ax to government spending,” according to the news piece.

On the chopping block are programs at the Departments of Commerce, Energy, State, Transportation, and Justice. The National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would also be eliminated, according to the report.

The new President is postponing the release of his first full budget until at least late April. News of the cuts, though, is coming as the President’s team is developing a budget “blueprint” that would reduce the federal budget by $10.5 trillion over 10 years. More details will come to light in the coming weeks as a smaller version of the budget proposal is released.

At this stage, it’s unclear what the new President’s plans are for the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Institute for Education Sciences, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and even the Department of Defense’s research budget. Overall, there will be a squeeze on the federal budget. The cuts that are foreshadowed in The Hill piece could reduce the pressure on other parts of the budget, but the climate suggests that not only will there be winners and losers in the federal budget, there could be winners and losers within science.

Additional signals come from President Trump’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC). As a member of the U.S. House, Mulvaney sought significant reductions in federal spending. And with a majority in the House and Senate who are receptive to the idea of cuts to the federal budget, science advocates are readying themselves for the work ahead.

FABBS will review the budgets as they are released and share information with our scientific communities through this newsletter and through communications with our scientific societies.

Read the entire article in The Hill.