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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

President’s Budget Expected to be Released on Tuesday

Now that Congress has funded the remainder of FY 2017, they are ready to get to work on FY 2018 funding (see our May 10 Action Alert). One key step in the federal budget process is the President’s budget request to Congress, which is expected to be released on Tuesday.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingUntil now, all we’ve seen from President Trump is the “skinny budget” (PDF) he released in March, which outlined some of his priorities. There have been rumors about his upcoming budget, and late last week Third Way (a centrist think tank) released a leaked spreadsheet containing President Trump’s proposed budget plan. Among other major cuts, the spreadsheet shows a decrease in funding for the Administration for Community Living (a $142.4 million decrease, for total funding of 1.85 billion). It does not address funding for the Independent Living Program specifically. Please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this leaked document, and if accurate, there is a good chance that changes may be made before it is released on Tuesday.

We know that the President’s skinny budget and other rumored priorities have drawn criticism on both sides of the aisle. We also know that the funding levels the President sets forth will likely not be the final amounts when we see the Congressional appropriations bills. That being said, it has been made clear that Congress hopes to make major cuts, and the President’s proposed budget clues us in to where we may see the biggest decreases.

As a reminder, the Independent Living Program was level funded in the FY 2017 spending bill. Level funding does not meet our needs, but right now our focus must be on fighting against any cuts that will negatively impact the Independent Living Program in FY 2018.

We ask that you please continue talking with your members of Congress. Please continue trying to get them to visit your CIL to see for themselves the irreplaceable work CILs are doing in their own communities. Cuts to the IL program would be detrimental to CILs and people with disabilities all across the country, and it’s on us to make sure that our Senators and Representatives know how much IL matters to their constituents with disabilities. Now it’s more important than ever that we keep up the pressure!

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