March 17, 2017

Nonprofit Leaders Respond to White House Spending Plan

Nonprofit leaders nationwide are reacting to the outline of the administration’s proposed budget. The Boston Globe  and The Wall Street Journal (subscription) each published lists of programs that would lose all their funding.

Arts: The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription) reports that the proposal to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities “may not translate into any policy change,” as many members of Congress are balking. In The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal (subscription), Patricia Harrison, president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, predicted “the collapse of the public media system itself” if her agency’s budget is zeroed out. NPR and Public Broadcasting System affiliates in small markets rely heavily on federal funding.

Education: Conservatives are hailing the proposed downsizing of the U.S. Department of Education and the shift of funds to charter schools, private-school vouchers, and other forms of school choice, according to The Washington Post. A big fight could loom over the proposal to eliminate $1.2 billion in grants to after-school and summer programs run by churches, nonprofits, and schools; the programs serve 1.6 million children, but the administration says there’s no evidence they are effective.

Environment and Energy: What critics are calling a “scorched-earth budget” for the Environmental Protection Agency takes aim at climate-change research, grants for energy technologies, and coastal- and marine-management programs, according to Bloomberg. Regional environmental advocates are worried about the proposed elimination of programs to clean up the Great Lakes (Detroit Free Press) and the Chesapeake Bay (The Washington Post). The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports that Republicans in Congress are opposed to the Great Lakes move.

Foreign Aid: Politico describes a “furious, diverse and largely united cast of critics” of the proposal to reduce State Department spending and American international assistance by 28 percent. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the previous spending levels are "simply not sustainable," according to the BBC

Science and Medicine: Leaders in these fields are warning that proposed cuts could threaten the country’s pre-eminence in science and technology, according to The Washington Post. The Associated Press reports that the administration’s plan would roll funding at the National Institutes for Health back to 2003 levels; the only program targeted specifically so far focuses on global health.

Rural and Urban Poor: The Boston Globe analyzes how proposed cuts would affect rural areas, while The New York Times looks at what could happen in inner cities. A Washington Post analysis concludes that low-income Americans will lose help “on virtually all fronts, including affordable housing, banking, weatherizing homes, job training, paying home heating oil bills, and obtaining legal counsel in civil matters.”