WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s plan to eliminate dozens of federal agencies and programs has collapsed, as a conservative Republican Congress refuses to go along.
Among the programs spared are agencies promoting rural business development and the arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Community Development Block Grants and the National Wildlife Refuge Fund. Those and many others are getting money in bills approved by the GOP-run House appropriations committee. The House plans to vote on spending bills throughout next week, and the Senate is expected to consider spending plans shortly.
Trump unveiled his $4.1 trillion budget plan in March, pledging to “reduce the federal government to redefine its proper role and promote efficiency.”
But in the House, where all 435 members face voters next fall, budget legislation has far more money than Trump had sought for a host of programs. The spending bill for agriculture contains $4.64 billion beyond what Trump requested, an increase of about 30 percent. For interior and the environment, the bump was $4.3 billion or 16 percent. For transportation, housing and urban development, the committee approved $8.6 billion, about 18 percent, more than the budget request.
Even agencies and programs conservative Republicans purport to dislike are avoiding the Capitol ax. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been on the list of programs many conservatives and Republicans have wanted to defund since Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., was House speaker in the 1990s. Trump wants it off the federal books, too, but House appropriators instead included $445 million for the agency.