• President Obama Unveils His Budget
  • February 22, 2016
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • This week, President Barack Obama unveiled his FY 2017 budget. Below are some highlights:


    According to the Obama administration, this budget pays for all new spending and achieves $2.9 trillion of deficit reduction over 10 years. The President’s budget achieves $375 billion of health savings and more than $955 billion in deficit reduction by raising taxes on high income earners.

    Research and development

    The budget provides $7.7 billion government-wide, a 20 percent increase over 2016, for clean energy R&D across 12 agencies.

    There is $14.6 billion for 2017, an increase of over $900 million over the 2016 enacted level, for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    The budget also supports the President’s “cancer moonshot” effort with a $1 billion initiative to provide the funding necessary for researchers to accelerate the development of new cancer detection and treatments. This includes $195 million in new cancer activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in FY 2016, $755 million in mandatory funds in the 2017 budget for new cancer-related research activities at both NIH and the Food and Drug Administration, and support for other agencies such as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

    In addition, the budget provides $33.1 billion to support biomedical research at the NIH.


    The Obama budget proposes a $10-barrel tax on oil, to be phased in over five years, to pay for transportation initiatives including:
    • $1 billion for the NextGeneration Air Transportation System with $877 million for capital investments and $63 million for Research Engineering and Development.
    • $200 million for self-driving automobiles.
    • $213 million to support rail safety and development programs - this funding would also support continued implementation of Positive Train Control.
    • $275 million to cover costs of providing credit subsidy through the Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act Program.

    The budget supports the Administration’s two-part water innovation strategy to boost water sustainability and reduce the price and energy costs of new water supply technology to increase the resilience of our Nation’s water supplies to stressors like climate change and population growth, among others.

    There is also over $1.3 billion included to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficiency technologies and clean energy sources, such as solar, wind, and low-carbon fossil fuels.

    The Budget invests in programs that advance the scientific understanding of projected climate impacts, including changes in droughts, wildland fires, and coastal and inland flooding; assist communities in planning and preparing for future risks; and support risk-reduction and adaptation projects on the ground.

    In addition, the President’s proposal includes funding to support programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


    The budget calls for cutting taxes for families paying for child care with a credit of up to $3,000 per child. It triples the maximum Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) for families with children under age five and makes the full CDCTC available to families with incomes of up to $120,000, benefiting families with young children, older children, and dependents who are elderly or have disabilities.

    The proposal also includes $9.6 billion for Head Start, an increase of $434 million over 2016 enacted. Within this total, the budget provides an additional $292 million in 2017 to increase the number of children attending Head Start in a full school-day and -year program.

    The budget increases funding for Preschool Development Grants (PDGs), which lay the groundwork for universal preschool, and increases funding for Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies.

    A new Computer Science for All initiative, which would support State efforts to expand access for all students to computer science instruction and programs of study, is funded with $4 billion in mandatory funding over three years.

    The budget also funds America's College Promise (ACP), which would create a new partnership with states to make two years of community college free for students.


    The President’s proposal includes $500 million in new mandatory funding to help engage individuals with serious mental illness in care, improve access to care by increasing service capacity and the behavioral health workforce, and ensure that behavioral health care systems work for everyone.

    The budget also calls for $1 billion in new mandatory funding over two years to expand access to treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use, and help ensure that every American who wants treatment can access it and get the help they need.

    The plan also includes a modified/reduced version of the “Cadillac” tax on employer-provided health insurance plans.

    Criminal justice

    The budget includes a $5 billion investment for a new 21st Century Justice Initiative that will focus on achieving three objectives: reducing crime, reversing practices that have led to unnecessarily long sentences and unnecessary incarceration, and building community trust.

    Financial services

    President Obama asks Congress to significantly increase funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). His plan would increase SEC funding 11 percent, to $1.8 billion, while funding for the CFTC would jump 32 percent, to $330 million.

    In addition, the SEC would be able to hire more than 200 full-time employees to help finish enacting the reforms included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank legislation.


    The budget invests $19 billion in overall Federal resources for cybersecurity to support a broad-based cybersecurity strategy.