The American people will witness the final debate between the two primary party candidates for President of the United States tonight, and most are about to make a choice in the next two weeks as to who will be the victor. The outcome of the election will alter where discretionary spending is directed over the next four years. To see how this would affect overall Federal Discretionary Spending, comparing the last Obama/Biden budget to the first Trump budget is a good place to start.
FY 2017 Budget (in Billions)
Dept. – Obama Budget – Trump Budget
Defense Dept. - $523.9B - $546.6B
Education - $69.4B - $63.6B
Energy - $30.2B - $27.7B
NNSA - $12.9B - $12.5B
Health - $77.9B - $72.4B
Homeland - $40.6B - $44.1B
HUD - $38B - $33.6B
NASA - $18.3B - $19.2B
State - $37.8B - $35.4B
VA - $75.1B - $74.5B
All Other Depts. - $135.9B - $131.9B
Subtotal - $1,065.2B - $1,080.5B
Emergency Funding - $84.2B - $101.8B
Total Discretionary - $1,149.4B - $1,182.3B
As we can see from looking at the budgets, there is not a massive amount of spending change to any of the major agencies. Trump has a little more spending with the military while Obama/Biden spent more w/ HUD and Foreign Aid. With that said, the underlying philosophies between the two administrations will change how the money is spent within the agencies.
All Agencies - Green Energy
Not stressed as much under the Trump Administration, a Biden Administration will seek to create a Green Energy Market within the Federal Government. During the Obama/Biden Administration, Sustainability and Energy Scorecards were something agencies paid a great deal of attention to and new and existing buildings were fitted with green technologies.
The Trump Administration is very interested in new weapons systems such as hypersonic missiles, new helicopters and a potential move past the F-35 to a new fifth generation fighter. Additionally, the Trump Administration has created Space Force and is funding an increasing number of ICBMs in the US nuclear arsenal. Under the Obama Administration, we saw a 10% reduction in the number of nuclear weapons. It is likely that a Biden Administration will disband Space Force in favor of a more multi-national viewpoint. It is counterintuitive to many, but Biden is also more likely to put boots on the ground where the Trump Administration has sought to remove the US from foreign wars.
The EPA would likely make major gains in a Biden Budget. The Trump Administration had felt the agency had become too powerful and was crushing industrial competitiveness. Under a Biden Administration, the EPA is likely to regain its standing with a large spending increase over its 2020 budget.
The Trump Administration had a strong focus on the VA and improving its veteran service levels. I would not anticipate Biden making any changes to the path the VA currently has laid out.
Department of Homeland Security
The Trump Administration has spent a great deal of time on building the US-Mexico wall and spending on efforts to round up illegal immigrants who have committed crimes in this country. A Biden Administration is likely to cut DHS spending in these areas.
Regardless of who wins, the Federal Government is likely to go on a very large infrastructure spending spree post-election. In 2021, it will likely equal the discretionary spending for the year.
A GSA Schedule (or 8(a) Certification) can help you take advantage of whichever opportunities present themselves from either the continuation of the Trump Administration, or a migration to the Biden Administration.
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