FY17 Appropriations Update – November 18, 2016

After President-Elect Donald Trump weighed in on the FY17 appropriations process telling Republican leaders that he prefers a short-term continuing resolution (CR) extending current funding levels through February or March of next year, Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan (R-WI) decided to not move ahead on any FY17 appropriations bills during the lame duck session and instead pass another CR. The current CR expires on December 9. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) expressed disappointment in the decision, but was hopeful that the new Congress and new administration would finish the bills in the spring. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said last week that he would support legislation funding the federal government through the end of the fiscal year, but now appears resigned to follow the House’s lead with a short-term CR. Other Republican senators were less eager to embrace this decision.

Lawmakers did acknowledge the need to account for anomalies as well as emergency funding priorities (hurricane and flood relief, the opioid epidemic, and the lead-contaminated water system in Flint, MI) in a CR. With the conference on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) at an impasse, the CR may be a more likely route for aid to Flint, MI.

It is also unclear if the CR will include the recent $11.6B war supplemental submitted by the Administration to Congress, or if that will move in a stand-alone bill. The war supplemental request includes $5.8B for military operations against the Islamic State and in Afghanistan, along with $5.8B for related work by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The additional funding would bring President Obama’s total request for war spending needs in FY17 to $85.3B. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said he thought the $11.6B request was insufficient, but didn’t say how much he thought was necessary. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said he plans to introduce a $26B supplemental funding bill that would go toward military readiness as well as overseas operations. Cotton has been rumored to be on Trump’s short list for Secretary of Defense.

Finally, the final appropriations process next spring could be difficult with Congress negotiating with a new president and administration who will be busy preparing the FY18 budge request, and the debt ceiling expiring on March 15.

President-Elect Trump’s First 100 Days Agenda

On January 20, 2017 Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. During the campaign, Trump mentioned the following issues as his priorities for his first 100 days in office:

Pass a 10-year $1 trillion infrastructure plan

  • Bill would be revenue neutral leveraging public-private partnerships and private investments through tax incentives
  • Revenue neutral – tax breaks for investors who would be willing to lend the money to state and local governments would be offset by new tax revenue paid by the workers and companies undertaking these infrastructure projects
  • Applies only to revenue-producing infrastructure projects (e.g. airports, toll roads)

Nominate a “Scalia-like” judge for the Supreme Court

  • Diane S. Sykes
  • Bill Pryor
  • David Stras
  • Joan Larsen
  • Raymond Kethledge
  • Don Willett
  • Thomas Lee
  • Steven Colloton
  • Allison Eid
  • Raymond Gruender
  • Thomas Hardiman
  • Keith Blackwell
  • Charles Canady
  • Neil Gorsuch
  • Mike Lee
  • Edward Mansfield
  • Federico Moreno
  • Margaret Ryan
  • Amul Thapar
  • Timothy Tymkovich
  • Robert Young

Repeal the Affordable Care Act/Obama care

  • Replace it with health savings accounts and interstate insurance marketing (the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines)
  • Lets states manage Medicaid funds
  • Cut “red tape” at the FDA to speed approval of over 4,000 drugs

Propose a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress

Pass the “Restore National Security Act”

  • Work with Congress to fully repeal the defense sequester and submit a new budget to rebuild and expand the military
  • Provide Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice
  • Protect vital infrastructure from cyber-attack
  • Establish new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to the S. support the U.S. people and its values

Cancel Obama executive orders on climate, energy, immigration, overtime, and retirement saving

Renegotiate trade deals like NAFTA (or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205) and withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Instruct his Secretary of Treasury to label China as a currency manipulator

Deport criminal immigrants living in the country illegally

  • Cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back

Cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities

Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

Pass the “End Illegal Immigration Act”

  • Fully-funds the construction of a wall on U.S. southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall
  • Establish a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations
  • Reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first

Institute a federal hiring freeze (except for military, public safety, public health) and change civil service laws to ease the firing of disloyal workers

Agency review reports

  • Thoroughly review every federal agency

Roll back regulations

  • Department heads review regulations and identify regulations that are wasteful and unnecessary
  • Institute a requirement that for every new regulation, two have to be eliminated

Hold Cabinet orientation and briefings

Fill top 100 Senate confirmed positions

Pass the “End The Off-shoring Act”

  • Impose tariffs on companies that move offshore

Impose the following bans

  • 5-year ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service
  • Lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government
  • A complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections

Direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately

Lift the restrictions on the production of shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal

Lift the roadblocks on energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to allow it to move forward

Cancel payments to U.N. climate change programs and redirect funds for water and environmental infrastructure

Pass the “Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act”

  • Massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy.
  • A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut.
  • The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3
  • Tax forms will be greatly simplified
  • Business rate will be lowered from 35% to 15%
  • Trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10% rate.

Pass the “School Choice And Education Opportunity Act”

  • Redirects education dollars to give parents choice to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice
  • Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities.
  • Expands vocational and technical education
  • Makes 2 and 4-year college more affordable.

Pass the “Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act”

  • Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes
  • Incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services
  • Creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.

Pass the “Restoring Community Safety Act”

  • Creates a Task Force On Violent Crime
  • Increases funding for programs that train and assist local police
  • Increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.