Here is a summary of what's in the Trump Administration's proposed budget, released today, that is likely to be of greatest interest to the construction and lumber industries. Departments with programs that don't involve construction and lumber have been omitted. Click here to see the entire budget summary.
Department of Homeland Security
Proposed budget: $44.1 billion, a 6.8% decrease. Restructures the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) "to ensure that the cost of government services is not subsidized by taxpayers that do not directly benefit from these programs." It also proposed saving $190 million by eliminating the discretionary funding for the NFIP's Flood Hazard Mapping Program, "to instead explore other more effective and fair means of funding flood mapping efforts." Includes $2.6 billion for the wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. Calls for hiring 500 new Border Patrol agents and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement law enforcement personnel, as well as spending an additional $1.5 billion on the detention and removal of undocumented immigrants.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Proposed budget: $40.7 billion, a 13.2% cut. Eliminates the Community Development Block Grant program, saving $3 billion. Eliminates the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, thus saving $1.1 billion. Increases by $20 million (to $130 million total) the spending on mitigating lead-paint and other hazards in low-income homes.
Proposed budget: $28 billion, a 5.6% decrease. Eliminates the Weatherization Assistance Program and the State Energy Program "to reduce federal intervention in state-level energy policy and implementation."
Proposed budget: $9.6 billion, a 21% cut. Decreases federal support for job training and employment service formula grants, shifting responsibility to states, local governments, and employers. But it also "helps states" expand apprenticeship programs. Eliminates Occupational Safety and Health Administration training grants, "focusing the agency on its central work of keeping workers safe on the job."
Environmental Protection Agency
Proposed budget: $5.7 billion, a 31% cut. Eliminates more than 50 EPA programs; examples include Energy Star. Cuts by 23.5% spending by the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. Reduces categorical grants by 44.7%.
Proposed budget: $17.9 billion, a 21% decrease. Of that, $2.4 billion goes for fighting fires. No details about whether funds to promote lumber sales overseas would be continued.
Proposed budget: $7.8 billion, a 16% decrease. Strengthens the International Trade Administration's trade enforcement and compliance work, including investigations into anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The budget also seeks a "rescaling" of Commerce's export promotion work.
Proposed budget: $11.6 billion, a 12% decrease. Increases investment in deferred maintenance programs, but cuts funds for other construction and major maintenance work.
Department of Defense
Proposed budget: $639 billion, an 8.9% increase. This spending is likely to produce strong economic stimulus in defense-related industries and in areas around military bases.