WHY THE PRESIDENT’S 5% CUT REQUEST MAY NOT AMOUNT TO MUCH
Federal market publications lit up last week with news that President Trump is requesting that all federal agencies trim their FY’20 budget requests by 5%. While it grabs headlines now, it may never actually be implemented. The main reason is Congress. Regardless of whatever party controls the House of Representatives after the mid-term elections, appropriated spending is likely to increase. Democrats want to push a comprehensive infrastructure plan, something that already has conceptual support in the White House. Republicans, meanwhile, want to increase defense spending and have made it clear that, save for the Freedom Caucus, running up deficits in short term does not concern them. Companies that rely on federal spending should certainly monitor the budget and appropriations process to ensure that their interests and projects have a good chance of receiving full funding. No one wants to wake up and find that their pet project has been de-funded. Still, we are at the start of a very long process, one that will wend its way from federal agencies, to OMB, to Congress and, finally to appropriators and up or down spending votes. It would be an understatement to say that a lot can happen between an initial 5% reduction request and reality. In the meantime, there is no reason to not keep selling!