Budget Season Set for Kickoff
- The budget process in 2017 will be unusually busy.
- The administration will release its budget in two pieces; the continuing resolution expires in April; two reconciliation bills are possible; and the debt limit will come back into effect in March.
The annual budget process is about to get underway. The new administration’s budget will come out in two pieces; the continuing resolution expires in April; two reconciliation bills are possible this year; and the debt limit will come back into effect in March, although the Treasury Department can put off the deadline until fall by using “extraordinary measures.”
A Busy Budget Season
The President’s Budget: What We Know So Far
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney has said that the fiscal year 2018 “skinny” budget will focus on discretionary spending. It will not include revenue projections, tax reform proposals, entitlement reform, or President Trump’s infrastructure plan. It will include a $54 billion increase over the fiscal year 2018 spending cap for defense (function 050). The budget will not add to the deficit because it will offset the defense increase with $54 billion in cuts to nondefense spending, all in fiscal year 2018. The skinny budget may also include a fiscal year 2017 supplemental request. Enactment of these proposed spending levels will require a change in budget law. Since the spending caps for defense and nondefense are separate, changes in one cannot offset changes in the other. The proposed spending would still trigger a defense sequester without a change to current law.
The president’s full fiscal year 2018 budget will be delivered in May and will have all of the usual aspects of a president’s budget, including economic forecasts and legislative proposals.
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