President Trump released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 earlier this month. The proposal, which is entitled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” purports to “put the needs of its own people first” by prioritizing national security and public safety. To account for increases in these areas, the budget acknowledges that many “Government agencies and departments will …. experience cuts …. to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending[.]”
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) is no exception to President Trump’s proposed cuts. The America First Budget requests a total of $9.6 billion for the DOL, which equates to a 21 percent decrease from fiscal year 2017. In particular, the budget seeks to eliminate $434 million by abolishing the Senior Community Service Employment Program, $60 million in grants from the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, and $11 million in what it calls “the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s unproven training grants[.]”
The priorities of the President’s budget are consistent with the January 20, 2017 Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies entitled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” that was issued by Reince Priebus, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff. The memorandum prohibits all departments and agencies from sending new regulations to the Office for Federal Register (“OFR”) without approval from a President Trump appointed department or agency head, and orders a sixty-day delay in the effective date of all proposed regulations that have been published by the OFR but not yet taken effect.