In a move first hinted at over a week ago, President Donald Trump released his budget proposal on Thursday, complete with a proposed $6.2 billion cut to the funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
After the budget proposal was announced, HUD issued a statement in support of the budget cuts, stating:
Today, the Administration proposed a Fiscal Year 2018 spending blueprint for discretionary programs in several agencies across the Federal Government, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The blueprint reflects the President’s commitment to support HUD’s critical functions that provide rental assistance to low-income and vulnerable households and to help work-eligible families achieve self-sufficiency. It also recognizes a greater role for State and local governments, and the private sector to address community and economic development needs. Moreover, the spending plan supports the longstanding homeownership mission of the Federal Housing Administration to provide mortgage insurance to credit qualified households. A more detailed program-by-program budget proposal will be announced in May.
Absent from that statement was any reaction to the budget from new HUD Secretary Ben Carson. So, what does Carson think of the cuts to HUD’s budget?
For one, he’s in favor of them.
In a short statement issues late Thursday by HUD, Carson said that the budget furthers the Trump administration’s view of how HUD should operate.
“The discretionary budget plan released today by President Trump aligns with Agency plans to provide rental assistance to low-income and vulnerable households and to help families achieve self-sufficiency,” Carson said.
“The budget also promotes fiscal responsibility at HUD by promoting better efficiencies and leveraging IT modernization,” Carson continued. “I look forward to working with the President and remain keenly focused on HUD’s mission and core values.”
The statement strikes a bit of a different tone from what Carson said last week, when the rumors of a budget cut for HUD began to circulate.
After those budget figures leaked out, Carson attempted to calm the fears of HUD staff, saying in an email that the numbers being circulated were simply “preliminary numbers” that are likely to change.
Carson’s email stated: Today you may have read preliminary HUD FY18 budget negotiations in national media reports. Please understand that budget negotiations currently underway are very similar to those that have occurred in previous years. This budget process is a lengthy, back and forth process that will continue. It’s unfortunate that preliminary numbers were published but, please take some comfort in knowing that starting numbers are rarely final numbers. Rest assured, we are working hard to support those programs that help so many Americans, focus on our core mission, and ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely and effectively.
As it turns out, those leaked numbers were correct. Now it’s just a matter of whether Trump’s budget passes or not.
For a more detailed look on what programs would be cut and which ones get a boost under Trump’s budget, click here.