By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs, Goodwill Industries International
On the heels of Valentine’s Day, love is in the air, but not on Capitol Hill. President Trump kicked off the week with the delivery of his administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget proposal, A Budget for America’s Future, to Congress. Even if wrapped in chocolate and roses, the proposal would still be dead on arrival. In addition to the cuts described below, Congress reached a deal last year that established spending levels for both FY20 and FY21. However, the President’s request comes in below the numbers agreed to by Congress. Lawmakers will not want to spend less than what was agreed upon, especially during an election year.
Rejecting the proposal is not unique to the Trump administration. Each President is required to submit a budget proposal to Congress, and lawmakers often ignore the requests made. However, the proposal provides insights into areas of priority for the administration. For example, the proposal includes increases in career and technical education programs, apprenticeships, an initiative to provide six weeks of paid parental leave, and language providing more flexibility in the creation of local workforce development boards.
While the proposal provides an increase in funding to implement criminal justice reforms in the First Step Act, it also cuts funding from the Department of Labor’s reentry program. Furthermore, the proposal seeks to eliminate the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a program that helps older workers and which Goodwill Industries International (GII) is a national grantee, and cut the Youth Build programs that support low-income youth. The budget request also seeks drastic cuts to other support programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
We’ll continue to keep our advocates informed of new developments and opportunities where your voice can help us protect critical programs of interest to local Goodwill® organizations and the individuals they serve as we go through the budget and appropriations process.