Back in March, Trump proposed a pretty wild budget outline that
would end a number of important programs. Here’s where that’s landed now, as Congress is set to approve the spending plan this week.
Trump proposed some pretty massive cuts and costs, like a $2.6 billion
down payment for a border wall, the elimination of 19 federally-funded agencies, and $54 billion in additional spending. In other words, it was not your normal proposal.
With the threat of a government shutdown looming, Congress rejected some of the most significant changes and came up with a
new spending agreement. It’s tricky to navigate, but the Washington Post conveniently breaks down spending for different agencies here. Overall, though, the agreement includes $12.5 billion in new military spending and $1.5 billion more for border security. Here are some of the most significant added costs you should know about:
Border security: The new plan doesn’t give Trump any money for that ridiculously expensive wall he proposed. It does, however, add $1.5 billion for border security, to be spent on repairing the existing fencing and adding new technology, like drones, to monitor activity along the border. Separately, Customs and Border Protection would also get $137 million more for 2017.
Airport security: If the bill passes, TSA will get $331 million to hire more officers. They cut almost 6,000 screeners last year, and with more people flying than ever, this money will (hopefully) make the screening process faster, which is a good thing, albeit a pretty big expense.
Arts funding: The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities will see a $2 million increase. No, this isn’t a huge amount compared to other programs, but considering these programs were on the chopping block, this is a significant change.
Security for the Trump family: The bill would also pay $120 million over the next four months to protect the Trump family. That includes $61 million to pay back local law enforcement agencies, presumably in New York (Trump Tower) and Palm Beach (Mar-a-Lago), where President Trump frequently travels. The Secret Service will also get an extra $60 million. Of that $60 million, $23 million would go toward protecting Trump Tower, where First Lady Melania Trump and Trump’s son, Barron, live. If it sounds like a ridiculous amount to spend on security, that’s because it is.
The bill includes some good news on the
college tuition front (for a change). Pell Grants would increase from $5,775 to $5,935.
Aside from that, politicians are calling this a “bipartisan win” partly because funding for many other programs would stay the same, and Trump’s plan wanted to get rid of them completely. That said, there are still some big cuts:
Education Department: They would get $1.2 billion less than they received last year. However, student academic support and special education did get “modest boosts,” according to the Post.
SNAP: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program would get a $2.4 billion cut.
Justice Department: They would get a $143 million cut, but specific agencies a would see increases, including the FBI, DEA, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
These are just the basics, and there’s a lot more that goes into the plan overall, including specific policies, so be sure to check out
the Washington Post’s breakdown in full.
Congress is expected to pass the bill later this week and it would cover spending through September. At that point, we’ll have to see what spending will look like for the next fiscal year. If you want to contact your members of Congress and tell them what matters to you,
here’s how to get through.