Troops stand to get 3.1 percent increase in Trump budget proposal

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  • The Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal for government spending gives a big boost to the Pentagon and other security-related agencies, while calling for a cut of more than $2.7 trillion in federal civilian spending over the next 10 years. Those cuts would amount to a 9 percent decrease. The budget proposal has already been pronounced dead by Democratic leaders in Congress, where President Donald Trump’s budgets have failed to gain much traction even when Republicans were in control. (Budget Proposal)
  • The top spending priorities in Trump’s proposal are defense and security related, where he asked for another $8.6 billion for construction of a wall along the Mexican border, setting up the possibility of another government shutdown next fall. While the Defense Department would get a 5 percent increase under the president’s budget, The Departments of Homeland Security — with 8 percent — and Veterans Affairs — with 7 percent — would stand to gain as well. At the top of the Trump hit list is the Environment Protection Agency, which would take a 31 percent hit. The State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) weren’t far behind. Also facing proposed reductions of 10 percent or more are the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Education. (Federal News Network
  • Federal civilian employees were also targeted under the White House spending proposal, which calls for cuts to their pay, as well as their health and retirement benefits. And once again, civilian workers would not get a pay raise. They would also be made to pay higher contributions to their retirement and health premiums. Targeted for elimination once again is the special retirement incentive for federal employees who retire before they are eligible for Social Security. Federal Employment Retirement System participants would also face the possible elimination of cost-of-living adjustments. (Federal News Network)
  • DoD — the big winner in the Trump budget proposal — got more than it asked for. The administration wants to maintain spending caps set by the Budget Control Act that would force significant cuts in government spending. But in the Pentagon’s case, it would work around those caps by moving nearly $100 billion from DoD’s base budget to its Overseas Contingency Operations account. (Federal News Network)
  • Service members would see a 3.1 percent pay raise next January under Trump’s plan, and the military would add about 30,000 more active-duty and reserve troops. For junior enlisted troops, the pay hike could bring in about $815 more each year in pay. For senior enlisted and junior officers, the hike equals about $1,500 more. For an O-4 with 12 years of service, the bonus pay would equal more than $2,800. (Military Times)
  • The White House spending proposal also asked Congress to pony up $150 million for the 2020 Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). This would be a decrease over the last two requests of $228 million and $210 million, respectively. But if lawmakers agreed to provide $150 million, it would more than double the amount of money the TMF received in 2018 and 2019 combined. The Trump administration also asked Congress to authorize agency IT modernization working capital funds as part of its cross-agency goal. The General Services Administration requested more than $25 million to improve government-wide reporting of IT programs and to establish a new project management office for the government-wide implementation of technology business management principles. (Federal News Network)
  • The Census Project, a group of 2020 census stakeholders, estimated that the 2020 budget request fell more than $1 billion short of what the program needs next year. The president’s budget request proposed $7.2 billion for the whole Census Bureau in fiscal 2020. That’s compared to the $7.4 billion Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested for the decennial count next year. (The Census Project)
  • The Justice Department reported that Freedom of Information Act requests continue to rise. Melanie Ann Pustay, director of the office of information policy at Justice said fiscal 2018 was “well on-pace” to exceed the record-breaking 800,000 FOIA requests agencies received the previous year. Speaking at a kickoff event for Sunshine Week, Pustay said agencies are proactively disclosing records and leveraging recent tools to help drive down a backlog in requests. (Federal News Network)
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) announced two senior staff appointments. Jignasa Gadani will become director of the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation (OEPI) and Lindsee Gentry will take over as deputy director of the Office of External Affairs (OEA). Gadani served as Acting Director of OEPI since June 2018, and as deputy director of OEPI from 2014-2018. Gentry had served as communications director for FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee since Sept 2017. (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)
  • DHS is in the news a lot due to the political wrangling over what to do at our southern border, but it also has work to do along the northern border. The department launched a new unit along the Canadian border to fight counterfeit products coming into the U.S. The Global Trade Task Force’s first deployment was to Detroit, where it seized $1 million dollars worth of phony cosmetics and drugs. The task force is composed of people from the Homeland Security Investigation’s team, Customs and Border Protection, Commerce Department and the Food and Drug Administration. (Customs and Border Protection)

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