Release of Trump’s FY2019 Budget Request Delayed a Week

Release of Trump’s FY2019 Budget Request Delayed a Week

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced today that the release of President Trump’s FY2019 budget request will be delayed a week, from February 5 to February 12.  By law, the request is to be submitted to Congress on the first Monday in February, but the 3-day government shutdown disrupted this year’s schedule.

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney. Credit: OMB website.

Preparing for and implementing the January 20-22 shutdown reportedly took valuable time from OMB and agency staff at a critical point in producing the request.

Presidents develop budget requests that are submitted to Congress for its consideration.  Under the Constitution, only Congress has the “power of the purse” to spend money from the Treasury.

Missing the annual submission deadline has not been uncommon in recent years, even without shutdowns.  During President Obama’s term, the explanation often was that because Congress had not completed work on the current year’s budget, it was difficult to determine what the request should be for the next year.

OMB did not mention that today, although the country is in that situation now.  Congress has not passed any of the FY2018 appropriations bills or agreed on the total amount that the government may spend in FY2018 or subsequent years.  The government has been operating on a series of Continuing Resolutions (CRs) at FY2017 levels since FY2018 began on October 1, 2017.

Government funding lapseed at midnight on Friday when the third CR expired and Congress did not pass a new appropriations measure. Agreement on a new, fourth, CR was not reached until Monday, causing a 3-day shutdown.  The new CR extends funding only through February 8.

Although many members of the House and Senate loudly condemned the practice of funding the government through these temporary measures, there is talk already that a fifth CR will be needed before final decisions can be reached.


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