According to the Washington Post, the paper is in receipt of preliminary White House budget documents that show that the Trump administration is looking at making major cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The proposed budget would reportedly shrink federal housing support and cut certain community grants, bringing HUD’s budget down 14% for the 2018 fiscal year.
The budget draft documents show that President Trump is serious about cutting federal spending on domestic programs so that money can be re-routed to national security agencies, including the Department of Defense. Trump is also no doubt looking to free up money that can be used to pay for the wall across the Mexican border…at least until he can lay the bill on them.
From the Washington Post:
HUD Secretary Ben Carson has taken a staunchly conservative stance on public assistance in the past, saying dependency on HUD programs could become “a way of life” for recipients. While suggesting significant cuts, the preliminary budget maintains the same level of funding to rental assistance programs and avoids reductions that could directly put families on the streets. Instead, it targets funding for building maintenance and community development projects, although HUD recommends in the budget document that those projects receive funding from another source.
This is clearly an administration that believes in making good on the Republican promise of small government, even if Trump is constantly assailed as something less than a “real” conservative. True, this won’t shrink the federal budget as a whole, but at least it would redirect some money towards areas…that are the legitimate purview of the federal government. That’s a start.
Of course, these documents are preliminary and the White House budget – even in its final form – could bear little or no resemblance to what the House of Representatives ultimately comes up with. Congress has a long history of paying only cursory attention to the president’s desired budget.
On the other hand, this is a president like none we’ve ever had before, and he is a master at using the bully pulpit to pressure Republicans to see things his way. We’ll see if that mastery extends to the passing of actual legislation soon enough.