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Trump Budget Cuts: DHS, TSA, and More

Trump Budget Cuts

EZGovOpps

EZGovOpps has already taken a look at the small business impact of the budget cuts proposed by President Trump proposed in his budget blueprint. Many Federal agencies are facing a major reduction in funding, as you can tell by the graphic on the right, with many cuts targeting specific grant programs within the agencies. According to the Budget Blueprint, the total $54 billion in budget cuts are intended to offset increases in military and public safety spending by the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While DHS would experience a 6.8% percent increase in funding under this budget, reports began circulating that sub-agencies within DHS, including the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency would receive less funding in a bid to shift DHS funds to other agencies/projects. With access to the Budget Blueprint, cuts to certain DHS elements can be confirmed.

 

Trump Budget Could Mean Major Agency Cuts

According to the “Budget Blueprint,” the 6.8% increase in overall DHS funding would, combined with the re-allocation of funds from internal agencies, “strengthen the security of the Nation’s borders and enhance the integrity of its immigration system.” “Investing $2.6 billion in high-priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology, including funding to plan, design, and construct a physical wall” would coincide with increased funding in other areas for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which in 2016 awarded over $2.3 billion in contracts and grants. While this represents a large amount number of contracting dollars, two agencies within DHS that were rumored to face cuts in the 2018 budget had awarded more contracting and grant dollars than CBP in 2016: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Coast Guard (USCG).

The Coast Guard, tasked “to ensure our Nation’s maritime safety, security and stewardship,” had earlier been slated to receive a $1.3 billion reduction in funding for 2018. This would have had a major impact not only on maritime operations, but on the upgrading and replacement of legacy ships and equipment which the Coast Guard has continued to prioritize, and which contributed to the $2.8 billion awarded to companies in 2016. In a “Budget Blueprint” amendment released by DHS (the original blueprint did not mention the Coast Guard), DHS clarified that the President does not intend to cut Coast Guard funding, leaving planned ship procurement/construction and ship/aircraft upgrade funding intact.

FEMA, however, is slated to receive cuts in the proposed budget. Under the “Budget Blueprint,” FEMA would lose at least $667 million in grant funding for programs such as the “Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.” The PDM Program, as it is known, provides natural hazard mitigation assistance to States, tribes, and local communities in order to reduce the risk of future natural disasters, which could in turn reduce Federal funding for the response to any of those disasters. The budget would also cut the $190 million set aside for a portion of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Flood Hazard Mapping Program, without an exact replacement or solution in mind. In 2016 alone, FEMA awarded over $14.3 billion in contracts and grants.

Finally, TSA could lose a number of programs if the President’s budget is approved by Congress. Implementing a 2016 TSA decision to eliminate the “Behavior Detection Officer” program, reducing the “Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response” program (which sends “VIPR” teams to secure  and surveil transportation terminals and transit areas), and eliminating TSA grants and loans to State and local law enforcement for “high priority” patrols. The TSA budget will also be offset by raising the Passenger Security Fee, a mandatory ticket fee for air travelers which is currently $5.60, leading to the recouping of 75% of TSA’s aviation security spending. In 2016, TSA awarded $1.7 billion in contracting and grant dollars, according to USASpending.

If the proposed budget is approved in it’s current form, DHS contracting dollars could see major reductions or a shift in targets. While the “Budget Blueprint” emphasizes border security and cybersecurity, a federal trend EZGovOpps has covered before, other homeland security functions could see less focus. However, some have speculated that public pressure forced the administration to maintain current levels of funding for the Coast Guard, and this may lead to higher budgets for the other DHS agencies facing cuts.

Interested in learning more about major DHS contracting programs, awardee profiles, and more? Sign up for a trial with EZGovOpps, the premiere market intelligence platform. With custom updates from our analysts and personalized contract forecasting, EZGovOpps can ensure that you have the tools to win in the Federal contracting space.

Don’t forget to view our full GovCon News section for more intel.

Published May 28, 2017

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