The Trump administration hopes to use money reserved for Federal Pell Grants. This is a government incentive that aims to help students pay for their college. Namely, the cabinet wants to fund new spendings. And this includes a boost of $1.6 billion for NASA and their mission to send American astronauts back to the moon by 2024.
What’s more, the budget amendment also aims to use $1.9 billion to finance other priorities. For instance, Trump tweeted that this would go to NASA as well as he wanted Americans to make a grand entrance to space once again.
The administration’s proposed changes do not list some of the perhaps most controversial cuts they have ever put forward anymore. To illustrate, there is no mention of their desire to reduce funding for the Special Olympics. Also, the White House is allowed to make these kinds of propositions (known as “rescissions”) in order to take some of the unspent money they perceive to be either unnecessary or wasteful. But, if they want to get it their way, then Congress needs to approve their request.
Furthermore, officials have made it clear that this use of the money set aside for Pell Grant would not exert any negative influence on those students who are getting their grants right now. This subsidy assists low-income people who do not have any means of paying for college. In fact, Wesley Denton, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, said that there would be no cuts in the Pell Grant budget and that the administration would move mountains to give the subsidy to all recipients.
Why They Target Pell Grant Funding
If we were to look at the statistics, we would infer that the interest in this particular program has decreased since 2011. And the budget office stated that, because of this, there was an excess of about $9 billion. Initially, the administration had suggested that they aimed to use around $2 billion to pay for other spendings. Yet, they have increased this amount to $3.9 billion in this new request. The OMB maintains that the new proposal does not differ from the one in 2018.
Moreover, the officials suggested a strikingly similar plan for these funds in 2019. After much consideration, they decided to back off this idea. As it goes nowadays, Trump made the decision to increase NASA’s budget in his tweets on Monday. He even promised that a new period of space exploration would commence. Specifically, Trump wrote that he wanted to make NASA great as it once had been. He strives to return Americans to the Moon. And he does not want to stop there and wants the agency to move on to Mars.
Vice President Mike Pence has reflected on this as well. Pence hopes that astronauts will land on the Moon. This should be accomplished in the next five years or so. According to him, NASA should go to great lengths in order to fulfill this goal. All of these talks come as we prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of the first televised Moon landing in human history this year.
This request might come as a surprise to some. Especially because the White House has made it clear that they are extremely reluctant to back one particular agreement. We are referring to the one that will ensure the growth of spending limits for domestic programs. And both parties support it on Capitol Hill.
Additionally, their negotiations concerning the hurricane and flood disaster aid bill have not gone too far. Mainly because of Trump who has been vocal that he does not want to provide additional rebuilding funds to Puerto Rico. The money would assist this island in recovering from one of the most devastating hurricanes in 2017.
Trump had formerly stated that he wanted to reverse and change some of his suggested budget cuts. Many were happy to hear that he would go back on the proposal to slash funding for a cleanup program on the Great Lakes. As he said during a rally, he would completely be in favor of giving $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. He reached this decision after three Republicans had pleaded for him to change his mind.
Initially, his proposal aspired to reduce the program’s budget by a staggering 90%. The same day he said that he would not demand a cut of $17.6 million reserved for the Special Olympics. This was mainly because of all the criticism he had received directly from Capitol Hill. Then Trump took it to Twitter to say that he had updated his budget. And he bragged that the Special Olympics would get $18 million.
Apart from this, he stated that he would urge that Army Corps of Engineers receive $200 million for their restoration work. He appealed to Congress and asked them to assist him in backing up the biggest intergovernmental watershed restoration project ever. Trump wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to officially ask for these changes. He said that they were crucial as he wanted to show what his priorities were. And then he concluded that he did not ask for any new spendings in the new proposal.