It is mandatory for the President of the United States to present a federal budget proposal to the congress every February. This budget request is usually recognized as an indication of the priorities of the Administration and these requests are not actually a force of law. The “Dead on Arrival” budget of the President is seldom declared by the members of the congress and it’s regardless of which party controls the Congress and who occupies the White House.
As per the constitution, Congress also possess the real power to decide how to fund the government and how much to fund. They usually adopt a few recommendations from the budget of the president if any. However, Presidents missing the February deadline for the federal budget proposal is not uncommon and there are absolutely no penalties for doing this.
The budget submission deadlines were regularly missed by the Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. President Trump had earlier hinted that he might not be able to prepare his budget on time this year. However, the President did release a scaled-down “skinny” budget even though he failed to complete his full budget request before the deadline.
President Trump is planning to boost the defense spending by approximately 10 percent. He also stated that this proposed increase can be paid for by making severe cuts in domestic discretionary spending, which includes more than $12.6 billion in cuts to the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services). This will result in a 16 percent reduction in the funding of HHS.
The proposed budget also indicates that savings could be achieved by making a $5.8 billion cut in the budget of National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additionally, the proposed budget will also be eliminating the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as a stand-alone entity and it may also fold their mission into NIH. Reports also indicate that the “skinny” budget may eliminate $403 million in both nursing training programs and health professions.
However, HHS will be receiving a $70 million funding boost to combat abuse, fraud, and waste, which brings the total funding for these efforts to $751 million. In addition, the proposed budget also offers funds to implement the 21st Century Cures Act that was passed by the end of last year. The legislation is also planning to increase NIH’s funding while streamlining the drug and device approval process in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).