According to a report from The Hill this morning, President-elect Trump's transition team is already working with career staff at the White House on plans to slash federal spending. The Hill reports that significant cuts are expected to the budgets of the Department of Commerce, Energy, Transportation, Justice and State, among others, and would total $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
The departments of Commerce and Energy would see major reductions in funding, with programs under their jurisdiction either being eliminated or transferred to other agencies. The departments of Transportation, Justice and State would see significant cuts and program eliminations.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting would be privatized, while the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be eliminated entirely.
Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
While details are scarce now, a 200 page "skinny budget" document is expected to be released within the first 45 days of Trump's administration with a "full budget" to be released toward the end of his first 100 days in office.
Two members of Trump’s transition team are discussing the cuts at the White House budget office: Russ Vought, a former aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence and the former executive director of the RSC, and John Gray, who previously worked for Pence, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) when Ryan headed the House Budget Committee.
Vought and Gray, who both worked for the Heritage Foundation, are laying the groundwork for the so-called skinny budget — a 175- to 200-page document that will spell out the main priorities of the incoming Trump administration, along with summary tables. That document is expected to come out within 45 days of Trump taking office.
The administration’s full budget, including appropriations language, supplementary materials and long-term analysis, is expected to be released toward the end of Trump’s first 100 days in office, or by mid- to late April.
Ultimately the Trump budget is expected to be modeled after a blueprint published by the Heritage Foundation which envisions cutting or completely eliminating several programs that most people don't even know exist and therefore likely will not miss in the least.
The Heritage blueprint used as a basis for Trump’s proposed cuts calls for eliminating several programs that conservatives label corporate welfare programs: the Minority Business Development Agency, the Economic Development Administration, the International Trade Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The total savings from cutting these four programs would amount to nearly $900 million in 2017.
At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.
At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Under the State Department’s jurisdiction, funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are candidates for elimination.
But while many Trump supporters will applaud the efforts to scale back the federal governement, passing such an aggressive piece of legislation through Congress will be a challenge given that the Republican-controlled House just voted against a similarly aggressive budget in 2015 by a margin of 132 - 294. That said, the effort should make for some fun tweets over the coming weeks.