TRUMP BUDGET SPELLS OUT PRIORITIES, BUT SAILS INTO HEAD WINDS
President Trump’s budget released last week does lay out his Administration’s spending priorities, as well as non-priorities. The current plan, though, will look little like the final version as Congress weighs in with its own ideas. Even Senate Armed Services chairman John McCain, a member of the President’s own party, said that the defense portion of the President’s budget is, “inadequate to the challenges we face, illegal under current law, and part of an overall budget proposal that is dead on arrival in Congress.” Still, total IT spending would increase under the President’s proposed FY’18 budget to $95 billion. That’s a $1.6 billion increase over existing spending. Not all agencies would fare the same, however. Most of the increases would be seen in DOD, HHS, Transportation, Energy, and Homeland Security. Fourteen other agencies would either stay flat, or see their IT spending decrease. DOD’s budget would rise to $574.5 billion in base funding, with another $64.6 billion in OCO, or “wartime supplemental”, funding. Analysts state that the DOD budget puts a focus on near-term readiness over long-term modernization. The bottom line is that contractors will have to pay closer attention to the budget and appropriations process than usual to have a more solid understanding of what FY’18 will actually look like.