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The Bush Administration has proposed substantial cuts in spending on discretionary programs through fiscal year 2010. The budget would reduce funding in 2006 and would set caps on funding in future years that would require additional cuts each year through 2010. The proposed budget reductions include many programs that provide federal funding to the District of Columbia and other states.
While budget documents do not provide complete details on the programs that would be cut to meet the caps in future years, reasonable estimates of the likely cuts to DC and other states can be made. This has been done by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities using proposed funding levels in 2006 — which are provided in detail in the Bush budget — and the proposed cuts by broad program area in future years.
These estimates show that the District could lose $332 million in federal funds over the next five years if the Congress adopts the president’s proposal, including the following.
- K-12 education funding to DC would be cut by $30 million between 2006 and 2010, leaving the state less able to cover expenses like meeting the needs of special education students, improving teacher quality, and providing after-school programs.
- The District would have to cut child care subsidies for 2,300 children and 400 children would lose access to Head Start.
- The District would lose $1.7 million in funding for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, meaning 1,400 fewer DC low-income families would receive the healthy foods and the nutrition counseling provided by the program.
- DC would lose $15.3 million in Ryan White HIV/AIDS funding.
- In 2010, funding for Housing Choice Vouchers would be $29 million less the amount needed to maintain the program at current levels and would lead to a 2,000 reduction in the number of voucher recipients.
- The Bush budget would consolidate and reduce funding for the Community Development Block Grant and other block grants. The loss to the District would total $59.2 million over the 2006-2010 period.
These proposals represent a massive cost shift to state and local governments. If adopted, the District would have to increase local spending or make significant cuts in a variety of programs and services.
 Where Would the Cuts Be Made Under the President’s Budget? An Analysis of Reductions in Education, Human Services Environment, and Community Development Programs, (http://www.cbpp.org/2-22-05bud.htm). The estimated impact of program cuts on each state were made based on each state’s current share of funding for each program.