President Barack Obama unveiled his 2013 budget proposal today, which calls for $3.8 trillion in spending and projects a $901 billion deficit for the year. It was quickly met with resistance from Republican leadership.
“The President’s budget falls exceptionally short in many critical areas – including a lack of any substantive proposal for mandatory and entitlement spending reform,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), in a statement issued this morning.
Rogers promised to “go line by line through the President’s budget, prioritize programs, and make decisions on the appropriate investment of discretionary funds.”
The president would fund the Office of Justice Programs at $1.7 billion in 2013, down from $2.7 billion in 2011 and $2 billion in 2012. The budget would increase spending on the juvenile justice and delinquency prevention programs at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, a division of OJP.
Formula grants to states (Title II): $70 million
2012 appropriation: $40 million
Delinquency prevention grants: $40 million
2012 appropriation: $20 million
Block grants to states (JABG): $30 million
2012 appropriation: $30 million
Mentoring programs: $58 million
2012 appropriation: $78 million
Community-Based Violence Prevention: $25 million
2012 appropriation: $8 million
Other notable items from the Department of Justice proposal:
-A $20 million “evidence-based competitive demonstration program” for juvenile justice reform. This, of course, is the concept that the administration proposed for nearly all juvenile justice funding in 2012.
-Moving the Missing and Exploited Children program funding ($67 million proposed) from OJJDP into the Crime Victims Fund.
-There is $80 million included for the Second Chance Act, which aims to assist states with reentry services for adult and juvenile offenders. There is $20 million set aside within that proposal for “Pay for Success” projects, which is the administration’s term for social impact bonds.
-Obama does not include spending for OJJDP’s Victims of Child Abuse program, or for the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, but does include $23 million for the Defending Childhood initiative, created by Attorney General Eric Holder to address the trauma experienced by children who are exposed directly or indirectly to violence.
Education and Labor
The big change for 2013 is Obama’s proposed Community College Initiative, an $8 billion venture that would be carried out jointly by the Department of Education and Labor. This is the project referred to earlier this month in the State of the Union, which is aimed at helping community colleges develop worker-training programs for nearby companies with jobs they cannot fill because the potential employee pool lacks critical skills.
The Education budget also proposes a freeze on interest rates for federal Stafford Loans. The rate is scheduled to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July. Obama includes a long-term plan to expand the Perkins Loan program from $1 billion to $8 billion, raising the interest rate on those loans from 5 percent to 6.8 percent and restructuring the program to prevent colleges and universities from increasing tuition costs.
Obama includes $824.4 million for Department of Labor youth activities under the Workforce Investment Act, $80 million for YouthBuild programs, and another $80 million for reintegration of ex-offenders, which is down from $109 million in 2011. The budget would fund the Workforce Innovation Fund at $50 million, down from $125 million in 2012.
Other notable items from the Department of Education:
-$850 million for Race to the Top and $100 million for Promise Neighborhoods in the Education budget.
-Level funding of $1.15 billion for after-school programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
-The budget would maintain the maximum Pell Grant award at $4,860, but raise it to $5,635 for the 2014-2015 school years.
Health and Family Services
The president’s budget for HHS does not reflect many changes to funding for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which oversees the majority of family, foster care and adoption services. It does propose $350 million for the Community Services Block Grant, which was funded at $677 million in 2012, but this is not the first budget proposal in which Obama has expressed an interest in cutting back the program.
The expansion of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs was included in the controversial Affordable Care Act, and is slated for an increase from $350 million this year to $400 million in 2013.
The Department of Agriculture budget includes $19.7 billion for Child Nutrition Programs, which is $1.5 billion over the 2012 appropriation. The Women, Infants & Children Program would receive $7 billion, a $400 million increase from 2012.
The Agriculture budget also includes an increase from $264 million to $325 million for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, which offers competitive grants for number of potential subjects, including childhood obesity.
Other notable items:
-Within the level-funding proposal of $2.3 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the president includes $1 million for toll-free hotline and website that parents can use to access local child care services.
-Funds Head Start at $8.1 billion, slightly more than it received in 2012 and significantly more than Obama has requested in the past. The proposal also “supports the implementation of new regulations to strengthen Head Start by requiring low-performing grantees to compete for continued funding,” a process that is actually already underway.
-In the endnotes of the HHS budget appendix, there is mention of a program to reduce pregnancy among youth in foster care. It would consist of competitive grants or contracts, made available in September of 2013.
According to ACF spokesman Ken Wolfe, the project would be paid for with unspent Title V abstinence education funds from fiscal 2012. Every year, Wolfe said, about $13 million of the $50 million for abstinence education is left on the table by states who oppose the program philosophically or don't want to match it with state funds.
-Within the budget of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there is $20 million proposed for a drug prevention media program and $88.6 million for the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, which provides small grants to seed local community drug-free coalitions.
Obama proposes $760.5 million for the Corporation for National and Community Service. This includes more or less level funding for AmeriCorps grants ($345 million), the trust that pays out AmeriCorps education stipends ($208.7 million), and the National Civilian Community Corps ($30.1 million).
The budget includes $53.2 million for the Social Innovation Fund. It does not address CNCS’ Foster Grandparents program, which was appropriated about $110 million by Congress in 2011 and 2012.