February 7, 2006
President Bush, on February 6, 2006, unveiled his $2.77 trillion budget plan for the fiscal year (FY) 2007 - with major increases proposed for defense and homeland security, but an overall 2.3% reduction for most domestic discretionary programs. These tight constraints on domestic discretionary spending (which comprise only about 16% of all federal outlays) come against the backdrop of a growing federal budget deficit that is now projected to be $354 billion in FY 2007.
As a result of the growing federal budget deficit, there is increased pressure in Congress to constrain spending – especially on discretionary programs that are funded by the annual appropriations bills that Congress must pass before the fiscal year 2007 begins on October 1, 2006. By contrast, mandatory entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.) will continue to grow unless Congress enacts changes in benefits or eligibility rules.
The result is that any increase in non-defense/non-homeland security discretionary activities (including biomedical research, housing assistance, human services, and veterans' medical care) will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in the current budgetary environment. More importantly, political momentum to reduce the budget deficit is likely to make the proposed cuts in the President's budget difficult to resist.
Among the highlights and concerns for NAMI in the President's proposed FY 2007 budget are:
Click here to view a more detailed analysis of the proposed FY 2007 budgets for agencies and programs of importance to people with severe mental illnesses and their families.
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