FY 2017 Federal Budget: Obama's Request and Trump's Amendment

How Did Trump Amend Obama's Last Budget?

Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft wing walk by a V-22 Osprey
Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft wing walk by a V-22 Osprey. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images

The fiscal year 2017 federal budget outlines U.S. government revenue and spending from October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017. A revenue of $3.632 trillion is estimated, less than the estimated $4.106 trillion in spending. That means a $474 billion budget deficit. The Trump administration will provide updated FY 2017 estimates when it releases its full FY 2018 budget, which it promised to do in April 2017.


The Office of Management of the Budget estimated FY 2017 revenue of $3.632 trillion. Income taxes contribute $1.747 trillion, payroll taxes are $1.159 trillion and corporate taxes add $410 billion. The remaining $148 billion is from excise taxes, estate taxes, interest on Federal Reserve deposits and other miscellaneous sources. (Source: "Table S-5,” Mid-Session Review Fiscal Year 2017, Office of Management and Budget, July 15, 2016.)

Tax Freedom Day occurs in late April. That's how long taxpayers work to pay for all government revenue collected. 


The federal government will spend $4.106 trillion in FY 2017 if Congress approves President Trump's budget amendment. Government spending has three components: discretionary, mandatory and interest on the debt. 

Discretionary: Congress appropriate funds each year for agencies covered by the discretionary budget. It can use the president's budget as a guide.

It appropriates funds for each agency. This becomes the annual discretionary spending bill. Congress submits it to the President for signature as part of the budget process.

In addition, Congress also allocates emergency funding. It is not subject to limits imposed by sequestration. The largest portion of emergency funding goes to Overseas Contingency Operations to pay for wars.

President Obama submitted the FY 2017 request to Congress on February 9, 2016. It initiated the budget process. If Congress had followed this process, it would have appropriated funds before the fiscal year began on October 1, 2017. When Congress missed the deadline, it passed a bill called the Continuing Resolution. It continues funding for federal departments at current levels. If it hadn't, the government would have shut down like it did in 2013. (Source for Obama's budget: "Table S-5. Mid-Session Review Fiscal Year 2017," Office of Management and Budget, July 15, 2016.)

President Trump submitted a budget amendment on March 16, 2017. It asks Congress to change discretionary spending from the amount it enacted in its Continuing Resolution.  (Source for budget enacted by the Continuing Resolution: "FY 2018 Budget, Table 2." OMB, March 16, 2017.)

Here is a breakout of discretionary spending. It compares three budgets. The first column shows Obama's budget request. The second columns details the funds currently enacted by Congress. The third column shows what those spending levels would be if Congress adopts Trump's budget request.  (Source for Trump's budget: "FY 2017 Budget Amendment." OMB, March 16, 2017.)

FY 2017 Budget: Obama Budget Request, Enacted by Congress, Amended by Trump (in billions)

Defense Dept$523.9$521.7$546.6
Human Services$77.9$77.7$72.4
All Other Depts.$135.9$141.5$131.9
Emergency Funding $84.4$96.7$101.8
TOTAL DISCRETIONARY $1,149.6$1,164.8$1,182.3


Mandatory: The government will spend $2.6 trillion on mandated benefits. This portion of the budget is an estimate, not an appropriation. That means Congress can't change it as part of the normal budget process. Congress mandated the benefit payments when it passed the laws that created the programs.

The most recent estimates are from the OMB Mid-Session Review:

  • Social Security – $948 billion. Payroll taxes fund 100 percent of the cost.
  • Medicare – $592 billion. Payroll taxes and premiums fund 57 percent of the cost.
  • Medicaid – $385 billion. Paid out of the general fund.
  • All other – $681 billion. This includes food stamps and Supplemental Security Income. All programs are paid out of the general fund except for Unemployment Compensation, which is partially funded by payroll taxes. The Affordable Care Act and TARP are self-funded.

Interest on the DebtInterest payments on the national debt are not officially part of the mandatory budget, but the payments must be made. The expected payment is $266 billion for FY 2017. That will increase in future years now that interest rates are rising


The FY 2017 deficit is $474 billion. That's total expected revenue of $3.6 trillion minus total expected spending of $4.106 trillion if Trump's budget is approved. That's $18 billion more than the Enacted budget, and $33 billion more than the Obama budget.

FY 2017 (in billions)SubtotalTotal
Revenue $3,632
Interest on the Debt$266 
Discretionary (Trump)$1,182 
Congressional Adjustments$92 
Total Spending $4,106
Deficit $474


To compare U.S. budget deficits through history, see U.S. Deficit by Year and Deficit by President. 

Compare to Other U.S. Federal Budgets