Wireless Gets Plug in Administration’s 2018 Budget Proposal

In his message to Congress about the 2018 budget proposal, President Donald Trump said he asked Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to craft a budget that emphasizes national security and public safety. It “provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the debt,” according to the President. The $639 billion proposal includes a $54 billion increase in defense spending in 2018 that is offset by targeted reductions elsewhere.

The FCC is not specified as a line item, however its budget is part of the budget allocated for the Department of Commerce. The proposal requests $7.8 billion for Commerce, which is $1.5 billion or 16 percent less than that of 2017.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which administers federal spectrum, also falls under the Commerce budget. The Administration states it “continues to support” NTIA “in representing the United States interest at multi-stakeholder forums on internet governance and digital commerce. The budget supports the commercial sector’s development of next genera­tion wireless services by funding NTIA’s mission of evaluating and ensuring the efficient use of spectrum by government users.” 

Several independent agencies are targeted for elimination. They would save about $3 billion to partially offset the rise in defense spending, according to the Washington Post. See page five of the proposal for a list of funding for independent agencies he proposes to eliminate, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Other agencies such as the EPA, State, Labor, and Agriculture —could see a more than 20 percent cut. (EPA would see the worst of it at 31.4 percent, followed closely by the State Department at 28 percent).  Now it’s up to Congress to review and either pass the proposal as is, or more likely, alter it.

March 17, 2017   

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