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What’s Up with the Budget?

Funding for the Federal fiscal year (FY) is usually made public in February.  The official due date is the first Monday in February, so for this year that would have been this week, on Monday, February 6th.  However, President Trump seems to be following in the footsteps of his predecessors by being late when it comes to issuing his first budget.  President Bush didn’t release his Administration’s first budget until April and President Obama was even later with a May release.
Some talk of a “skinny” budget outline being released later this month has been floating around.  However, this may be complicated by a delay in confirming the President’s choice for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  There’s also talk that President Trump may release another Executive Order (EO) related to the budget but no details are forthcoming as of this update.
The budget delay, while understandable, will have cascading consequences.  Until there is a budget, Congressional appropriators cannot begin their FY 18 allocations and will have even less time to make funding decisions before the end of the Federal fiscal year on September 30th.  FY 17 funding is also still in play as the government is currently being funded through a continuing resolution (CR) that is set to expire on April 28th.  It’s difficult to predict at this point, but timing may be such that the CR will be extended through the end of the fiscal year (through September 30th) as a “time saver.”  The content of this year’s budget proposal is also uncertain.  So much speculation has swirled around substantial cuts to some Federal agencies such as EPA and increased funding for defense spending that it is difficult to determine the facts on the budget approach.