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Spending measure could disrupt Trump’s plans to cut agencies

None of the funds made available in this or any other appropriations Act may be used to increase, eliminate, or reduce funding for a program, project, or activity as proposed in the President’s budget request for a fiscal year” unless Congress approves, according to the omnibus legislation.

Dreaming Has A Low
Dreaming Has A Low

The Washington Post reports:

Trump probably would have been even more upset [with signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending plan] had he read the provision that could sharply curtail his plan to reorganize the government.

Section 740 of the 2,232-page document (PDF) makes it clear, as Bloomberg Law previously reported, that Congress, not Trump, is in charge. “None of the funds made available in this or any other appropriations Act may be used to increase, eliminate, or reduce funding for a program, project, or activity as proposed in the President’s budget request for a fiscal year” unless Congress approves, according to the omnibus legislation.

That could make it more difficult for Trump to impose the cuts he wants. His March 2017 “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch” seeks “to eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agencies, and agency programs.” Among other cuts, his proposed budget for this fiscal year called for the elimination of 19 small agencies, from the African Development Fund to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Members of Congress, including Republicans, are not eager to be Trump’s hatchet men. The omnibus spending plan provides a clear declaration that he cannot act alone. It is Congress that creates and eliminates.

(click here to continue reading Spending measure could disrupt Trump’s plans to cut agencies – The Washington Post.)

That’s pretty funny. No wonder the Democrats were happy with this omnibus spending bill, and that right wing performance art bloviators like Ann Coulter were so dismayed

No Need To Panic
No Need To Panic

The Defense Department got more money than it needs, but on the other hand, many Democratic priorities were strengthened. Some like the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities got even more money than requested1

Sarah Binder writes:

 

 

One of the reasons GOP leaders were keen to rush the bill to a vote is that they didn’t want their partisan base to notice that it both funds innumerable Democratic priorities and blocks the Trump administration from doing such things as expanding detention of immigrants, defunding sanctuary cities, and ending federal funding for the arts, to name a few. The Trump White House and many conservatives wanted deep cuts to domestic programs. Party leaders ignored that. The more quickly the two chambers vote, the less time potential opponents have to unearth details that could outrage the GOP base, who might pressure their representatives to vote against the deal.

 

 

(click here to continue reading Three things we learned from the omnibus spending bill – The Washington Post.)

Trump is so lazy that I don’t see this process changing much in the future, even if a resurgent Democratic Party takes over the House and Senate in November, 2018. Trump isn’t going to waste his precious Executive Time reading 2,232 page documents and fighting about what it contained therein, he will only react if Trump TV spoon feeds him any of it. Let’s be honest, neither are we2, but I’d like to think if we were in the White House we’d at least make the attempt to understand a bill before signing it.

Footnotes:
  1. by a small amount, but still… []
  2. though I did download it, and skim it []

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