On Monday, March 11, President Trump unveiled his proposed budget for fiscal year 2020 (FY20) – the first step in the broader Congressional process, serving as a guidepost for the administration’s priorities. Normally submitted to Congress on the first Monday in February, the president’s budget request was delayed this year due to the extended federal government shutdown.
With the president’s budget proposal formally delivered to Congress, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will begin working to finalize their FY20 funding packages, which are expected to contain significant differences from the administration’s version. Topline summaries of the president’s FY20 budget requests pertaining to the recreational boating industry are available here:
Department of Commerce
The proposed budget request provides the Department of Commerce with $12.2 billion, a 9.3 percent increase above the FY19 level; however, the additional funds are directed towards the 2020 Decennial Census. The Department of Commerce oversees a range of programs important to the recreational boating industry - from trade and tariff policy to NOAA fisheries, which operates programs relating to the management and conservation of ocean resources and habitats. The president’s budget request would eliminate some of NOAA’s educational and grant programs, including the National Sea Grant College Program, Coastal Zone Management Grants, and Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Program.
Department of the Interior
The president’s budget request would fund the Department of the Interior (DOI) at $12.5 billion, which is a 14 percent decrease below the FY19 enacted level. Like his administration’s FY19 budget request, the FY20 proposal includes a public lands infrastructure fund worth $6.5 billion over five years to help with the repair and maintenance backlog in national parks and public lands. Despite signing legislation into law yesterday that would permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund – which expands and enhances access to public lands and waterways – the president’s budget request would eliminate funding for the program.
Department of Labor
The budget proposal would provide the Department of Labor with a 9.7 percent or $1.2 billion cut from FY19 enacted levels. The request would maintain level funding – $160 million – for the Department’s Apprenticeship Program, which assists industries in filling open positions through on-the-job training.
Environmental Protection Agency
The president’s budget requests $6.1 billion for the EPA, reducing the agency’s budget $2.8 billion or 31 percent below its FY19 funding level. The EPA is a critical agency for our industry— from regulating engine emissions and certification to clean water permitting. Recently, EPA proposed allowing for the summertime sale of E15 gasoline. Additionally, the EPA operates the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Program – both of which are essential in restoring and protecting the important bodies of water. The president’s budget request proposes that both programs receive a 90 percent cut.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
In the president’s budget request, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) would receive $4.8 billion, a 31 percent reduction from FY19 levels. The budget proposal would also overhaul how inland waterway and ports are funded, changing the system from a fuel tax on commercial vessels to a new fee per commercial vessel. The USACE is one of the nation's leading federal managers of outdoor recreation infrastructure, with more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states, managing 55,90 miles of shoreline and 3,748 boat ramps across the country.
Department of State
The president’s budget request would increase funding for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), as the administration continues to negotiate trade agreements with the European Union, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the budget request supports full funding to operate the Export-Import Bank, which helps support small businesses compete in the global marketplace.
NMMA will closely monitor the appropriations process as it unfolds on Capitol Hill and will continue to advocate for the industry’s priorities with lawmakers and key staff.
For more information, please contact NMMA senior vice president of government relations and legal affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at firstname.lastname@example.org, NMMA director of federal government relations, Callie Hoyt at email@example.com, and NMMA director of federal government relations, Clay Crabtree at firstname.lastname@example.org.