Those increases, however, would be offset by what the administration is acknowledging are substantial cuts to domestic agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (31 percent), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (13 percent), and the Department of Agriculture (21 percent), among others. “There’s a lot of programs that simply cannot justify their existence and that’s where we zeroed in,” Mulvaney said. One of those programs, apparently, is Sesame Street: Mulvaney confirmed that the administration will seek to eliminate the federal government’s involvement with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which directs funds to public radio and TV stations. The CPB receives $445 million annually in federal funding, which Trump wants to drop to nearly zero in the coming years.
The proposed cuts don’t stop there. The Trump administration wants to eliminate federal funding of 19 agencies and commissions, including the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Legal Services Corporation, the Institute of Peace, and an interagency council on homelessness. Some of those have long been targets of conservatives in Congress, but Democrats are expected to fight aggressively for their preservation, and it’s likely they retain majority support to continue.
Beyond the programs targeted for elimination, the Trump budget puts nearly every domestic Cabinet department on the chopping block. In the Department of Education, dozens of school and teacher grant programs would go, and the popular college work-study program would see significant cuts. In the Department of Commerce, NOAA gets slashed by billions, including the complete elimination of $250 million in grants for coastal and marine management. Funding for the National Institutes of Health—an agency with some of the most bipartisan support in Congress—would drop by nearly $6 billion, a cut 18 percent.
While DHS would see an overall boost in funding, support for the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the department would drop by $667 million. And despite Trump’s promise of significant investment in infrastructure, he would cut the Department of Transportation’s budget by 13 percent, including a significant reduction in the federal government’s support for Amtrak. Mulvaney said the initial cuts to transportation programs were designed to free up money that would later be used in the administration’s infrastructure proposal, which Trump has said could total more than $1 trillion in public and private spending.
Senator Charles Schumer of New York, the minority leader, vowed that Democrats would “emphatically” oppose the cuts. “Once again the Trump administration is showing its true colors: talk like a populist but govern like a special interests zealot,” he said in a statement. “This budget shifts the burden off of the wealthy and special interests and puts it squarely on the backs of the middle class and those struggling to get there.” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called the proposal “morally obscene.”