April 13, 2011; Source: Washington Post (PDF) | Embedded in $38.5 billion in FY2011 cuts in the controversial budget deal announced last weekend are big cuts to small programs. Over $38 billion doesn’t make a dent in a multi-trillion dollar budget, but multi-million dollar cuts can cripple individual human service programs frequently used by nonprofit service deliverers.

We have seen two tabulations of the specific cuts that have been largely agreed to by the White House and the House Appropriations Committee. The very loose nomenclature used by the press and by Capitol Hill makes it very difficult to know exactly what is being cut – already authorized spending or proposed expenditures that have yet to be formally appropriated in some cases – but the lists that are circulating show a pattern of giving substantial haircuts to some important programs, which we’ve presented below as Compared to the FY2010 budget (which is the basis for the continuing resolution that we’ve been operating under) and Compared to the President’s Proposed FY2011 budget (which was never voted on).


Federal program

Budget Cut Compared to FY2010 Budget ($  millions)

Compared to President’s Proposed FY2011 ($ millions)

Rural distance learning and broadband



Weed and Seed



Legal Services Corporation payments



Community Development Financial Institutions fund






Title X Family Planning



Rural health programs






Community health care centers



Learn and Serve America



USAID operating expenses



Economic Support Fund (in foreign aid)



Public housing operating costs



Public housing capital fund



Community Development Block Grants



HOME program



Housing counseling



National Endowment for the Arts



National Endowment for the Humanities



Lead hazard reduction



Two notes for interpretation: The first column contains the cuts that are among those adding up to $38.5 billion. The second column contains the cuts that would add up to $80 billion had the proposed FY2011 budget ever been approved.

When the budget cut number in the second column is higher, it means that the President’s proposed budget might have actually even increased that program allocation, for example, the community health care centers, Youthbuild, and the USAID Economic Development fund.

Note how some of these cuts undo program improvements previously trumpeted here on the NPQ website, for example, bolstering USAID’s staffing or public housing operating funds.—Rick Cohen