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Monday March 20, 2017

CPSC Not Mentioned in Skinny Budget, So FY2018 Funding Remains Murky

CPSC's likely FY2018 funding level is unclear as the White House budget request sent to Congress March 16 does not mention the agency. The document (bit.ly/2nvO2PQ) is what is known as a "skinny budget," which refers to a submission that gives very broad strokes.

 

One bit of information that can be culled from the lack of mention is that the agency is not on the list of independent agencies targeted for defunding. Those mostly involve the arts, domestic and international economic development, and diplomatic matters. The only safety-related agency on that list is the Chemical Safety Board, which investigates industrial accidents.

 

In any event, although the latest reauthorization of CPSC (the CPSIA) technically mentions budgets only to 2014, funding after such dates in legislation is common. Additionally, the laws that the commission oversees would need to be addressed by Congress to eliminate or transfer duties.

 

Such necessity for congressional involvement also is seen as a flaw in the most recent executive order on regulations. It directs agencies to find ways to reorganize or merge.

 

Whether CPSC might face steep budget reductions – like many of the larger agencies mentioned in the request – is part of the unknowns. Watch the presumably upcoming negotiation of the current year's budget for clues about CPSC's financial fate.

 

The government is operating under a continuing resolution, CPSC at $125 million. The agency sought $130.5 million for FY2017 (PSL, 3/15/16), but Republicans have considered cuts to as low as $121.3 million (PSL, 7/11/16).