Final Bush Budget Leaves Leadership to Next President

Budget 09: Domestic cuts continue
Prepared for Smart Growth America by Advocacy Associates

President Bush has submitted to Congress the final budget proposal of his administration. The $3.1 trillion plan essentially freezes overall non-defense domestic discretionary spending with many key community development programs targeted for significant cuts in funding.

The budget proposal once again calls for a number of planning and community-related programs to be either restructured or eliminated. Many of these ideas have been previously rejected by Congress. For example, this is the fourth consecutive budget which has recommended an overhaul of the Community Development Block Grant program. The budget also recommends using transit funds to fill a projected gap in the highway trust fund.

Many on Capitol Hill have already rejected much of the budget blueprint. In an election year, it is even more unlikely that Democratic leaders in Congress would accept the cuts and program recommendations in the budget. However, the reality of slim majorities and the inability to override presidential vetoes means that the Administration will continue to have a significant voice on spending issues. Last year, Congress rejected most of the specific cuts proposed by the Administration but was ultimately forced to accept the overall spending levels outlined by the White House. It is possible that Congress might opt to wait until after the November election to finalize FY 09 spending.

Following is an overview of the budget proposal for key planning and community programs by department. Click on the topics at right to read through the analysis by topic, or you can download the full analysis. Note: funding levels noted in the embedded charts are provided in millions.

Click here to download the full FY 2009 Budget Analysis (PDF)