Along with its preliminary budgetary proposal for fiscal year 2018 that starts October 1–seeking to shift $54 billion from domestic agency spending to DoD while also boosting spending at DHS and the VA–the White House has requested a reallocation of $18 billion in the current fiscal year along largely the same lines.
Such a transfer, in a fiscal year already almost half finished, would essentially parallel the situation of 2013, when “sequester” budget cuts imposed after budget year already was well under ways triggered unpaid furloughs at many agencies.
The request seeks to transfer more than $30 billion to DoD for military operations and $3 billion to DHS for carrying out orders on border security and immigration enforcement, toward constructing a physical wall along the southern border, increasing immigration detention capacity, and for hiring additional immigration law enforcement officers and immigration agents.
The proposed $18 billion non-defense discretionary reductions “would fully offset the amounts proposed for DHS and would offset half of the amounts proposed for DoD,” the request said.
It did not specify how such a funding shift might be accomplished. It is unclear how Congress will deal with the request, but action of some sort is needed in the weeks ahead; current-year spending authority for agencies other than the VA is to expire April 28.