The Trump Administration on Monday released its FY 2019 budget proposal that seeks to cut discretionary funding across most of the federal government.
Of note to airports, the proposal seeks to eliminate the TSA law enforcement officer reimbursement program, undo the federal mandate that TSA staff airport exit lanes and reduce funding for the Essential Air Service program. And, despite continued efforts by the airport community to press for infrastructure investment self-help by eliminating the federal PFC cap, the budget misses an opportunity to make any PFC-related adjustment.
The release of the budget proposal marks the beginning of the FY 2019 appropriations process. Congress - which must first complete the FY 2018 process before a March 23 deadline - will ultimately write the annual 2019 funding bills in the months ahead. Lawmakers are likely to quickly ignore the budget request, although we must remain vigilant in communicating concerns and priorities to Capitol Hill.
For the second year in a row, the Trump budget request also calls for corporatization of the air traffic control system, a controversial proposal pushed by House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) that has drawn strong opposition from Democrats and key Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Overall, the budget outline proposes to cut a total of $3 trillion in spending over the next ten years and reflects increased FY 2019 spending caps that were approved by Congress last week as part of a stopgap spending bill. The budget request includes a number of cuts to entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and other social programs that are likely to face resistance on Capitol Hill.
AAAE Federal Affairs members can access a detailed summary of the DOT/FAA and DHS/TSA/CBP portions of the budget request here.