The President presented the administration’s proposed budget for FY19 on February 12. The full budget is available on the Office of Management and Budget website. The overview below and the accompanying summaries and analyses for individual agencies are based on the administration’s budget documents. All figures denote budget authority, unless otherwise noted.
The FY19 proposed budget, including the FY19 Addendum to the President’s Budget, would set overall spending at $4.4 trillion, including a baseline discretionary spending cap of $1.2 trillion in accordance with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The cap for defense discretionary spending is $647 billion and the cap for nondefense discretionary is $540 billion. This represents a $85 billion increase to defense spending and a $68 billion increase to nondefense discretionary spending. The budget also includes $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The total FY19 defense discretionary spending level is $716 billion ($647 defense discretionary and $69 billion for OCO).
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI)
The budget provides $375 million for AFRI, no change from FY17. The FY19 Addendum to the President’s Budget does not impact AFRI.
Department of Defense (DOD)
The budget provides $617 billion in base defense funding and $69 million for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). This includes a $20 billion shift in funds from OCO to the base budget noted in the FY19 Addendum. The budget provides $2.3 billion for 6.1 basic research, a $6.8 million, or .3 percent reduction from the FY17 funding level. Science and Technology (S&T) is funded at $13.7 billion, reflecting a $331 million or 2.3 percent reduction below FY17.
Department of Energy (DOE)
The budget provides $5.391 billion for the DOE Office of Science, a decrease of $1 million, or .02 percent, from FY17. This includes $1.213 billion to the Office of Science noted in the FY19 Addendum. The budget proposes elimination for the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and significant cuts to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and Nuclear Energy.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
The budget provides $19.892 billion for NASA, a $238.7 million, or 1 percent, increase from FY17. This includes $300 million noted in the FY19 Addendum. The FY2019 NASA budget includes, $5.895 billion for the Science Mission Directorate, which is a 2 percent, or $130.1 million, increase from FY17. The budget requests: $1.784 billion for Earth Science; $2.234 billion for Planetary Science; $1.185 million for Astrophysics; and $690.7 million for Heliophysics. The FY19 budget requests $633.9 million for the Aeronautics Mission Directorate, which is a decrease of $26.1 million from FY17. The FY19 budget also requests the termination of the Office of Education and its programs and redirects these funds to the exploration missions. The National Space Grant Fellowship Program is funded out of the Office of Education and is presumably slated for termination based on this budget.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
The budget provides $42 million for NEH, a $108 million, or 72 percent, decrease from FY17. The budget proposes to begin shutting down the NEH in 2019 because the administration does not consider the activities within the agency to be “within its core Federal responsibilities.” This amount includes funds to meet matching grant offers in effect as of October 1, 2018, as well as funds to cover administrative expenses and salaries associated with the closure.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The budget provides funding for NIH at $35.5 billion, a increase of $1.4 billion, or 4.1 percent, from the FY17 level. This request includes funds provided by the FY19 Addendum which proposes eliminating AHRQ and NIOSH, requiring NIH to expand the scope of its work and continue to fund committed AHRQ and NIOSH grants without the funding support to absorb those programs. The budget also covers 21st Century Cures Act funding and $750 million in opioid initiative funds. The budget would both cap the percentage of investigator salary that can be paid with grant funds to 90 percent of total salary and reduce the limit for salaries paid with grant funds from $187,000 to $152,000.
HHS Budget in Brief (p. 40-46)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
The budget provides $7.472 billion for NSF, the same as FY17. This includes $2.204 billion noted in the FY19 Addendum. The budget request for the Research and Related Activities Directorate is $6.151 billion, a $118 million, or 2 percent increase from FY17. The budget requests $873 million for the Education and Human Resources Directorate, a $7 million, or 1 percent decrease from FY17. The budget also includes $95 million for Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction, which is $114 million, or 55 percent below FY17.
STUDENT AID AND HIGHER EDUCATION OVERVIEW:
Department of Education (ED)
The budget provides $22.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Pell Grant program in 2019, which, combined with mandatory funding, would support a maximum award of $5,920. This maximum award does not account for an inflation adjustment. The budget proposes expanding the Pell Grant program to cover short-term programs that provide students with a “credential, certification, or license in an in-demand field.” The budget also proposes a cancellation of $1.6 billion unobligated carryover funds in the Pell program to be used for deficit reduction. However, the FY19 Addendum eliminates the budget’s $1.6 billion rescission of previously appropriated Pell grant funding.
Other ED programs:
- Federal Work Study (FWS) would be funded at $200 million, a decrease of $790 million or 80 percent from FY17. The FY19 Addendum adds an additional $300 million, bringing the total request to $500 million, which is still a cut of $490 million below FY17;
- Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) would be eliminated. The budget notes SEOG is “largely duplicative of the Pell Grant program and does not deliver need-based aid in the most targeted way;”
- Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) would be eliminated. The budget notes that GAAAN’s activities are more appropriately supported through other Federal, State, local, and private funds;
- Institute of Education Sciences (IES) would be funded at $521.56 million, a $83.70 million, or 13.83 percent decrease below FY17; and
- International Education and Foreign Language Studies (Title VI) would be eliminated. The budget notes that the program supports activities that would be better advanced by other agencies whose primary mission in national security.
The budget also proposes various reforms to address student debt, college costs, and student financial aid programs. Notably, the Administration proposes to dramatically reform the Federal Work-Study program to allocate funding to institutions enrolling high numbers of Pell Grant recipients that would support workforce and career-oriented training opportunities for low-income undergraduate students.
The Administration also proposes to consolidate the various income-based repayment programs into a single plan to prioritize repayment for undergraduate borrowers. This single income-based repayment plan would cap a borrower’s monthly payment at 12.5 percent of discretionary income. For undergraduate borrowers, any remaining balance after a 15-year repayment period would be forgiven. For borrowers with graduate debt, any balance remaining after a 30-year repayment period would be forgiven. In addition, the budget proposes ending Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), a debt forgiveness program for public servants, and proposes to eliminate subsidized student loans. These policies together would provide an estimated savings of $203 billion over the next decade.
The budget funds the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at $107.4 million, reflecting a decrease of $1.4 million from FY17. Within OCR, it calls for funding 529 full time employees, a decrease of 40 employees or 8.6 percent, which the administration says it would cut through attrition.