Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mulvaney sent top line spending numbers to federal agencies today in what is traditionally the OMB passback process. Reviews from the agencies are due back to OMB over the “next couple of days.” The administration expects to submit a budget blueprint (“skinny budget”) to Congress on March 16. The full budget will be issued in the first part of May.
The top line for defense discretionary is $603B, a $54B increase. The top line non-defense discretionary will be $462B – a $54B decrease. Under the Budget Control Act, the FY18 defense spending limit is $549B and non-defense is $515.4B. The reductions in non-defense spending in the President’s FY18 budget will come from promises the President made during the campaign – reducing foreign aid and duplicative programs, and eliminating programs that don’t work. Assuming that DHS and VA will be off limits for cuts, it will be up to the remaining non-defense agencies to find the savings.
Mulvaney said the budget blueprint won’t have any provisions for mandatory spending, entitlement reforms, tax policies, revenue projections, or the administration’s infrastructure plan. And when asked about the $30B in funding for the border wall, Mulvaney responded that they expect to include some money for the wall in a future supplemental for FY17 as well as in the FY18 budget request.