Former Heritage Scholar Is Now Drafting Trump's First Budget 


Former Heritage Scholar Is Now Drafting Trump's First Budget 

Feb 20, 2017

Paul Winfee hosts an event at The Heritage Foundation Photo by Willis Bretz

Paul Winfree, former director of Heritage's Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, is serving as the White House’s director of budget policy and deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. Winfree was appointed to the high-profile job during President Donald Trump's transition. 

Politico recently spotlighted Winfree as "one of the most important people to know," highlighting his work with Heritage and pointing to Heritage's Blueprint for Balance as a potential preview of Trump’s budget. 

Read Politico's story below. 

KEY PERSON TO KNOW — WHITE HOUSE DIRECTOR OF BUDGET POLICY: One of the most important people in the administration to watch in the coming months is Paul Winfree, No. 2 at the domestic policy council and director of budget policy, who will play a significant role in writing President Donald Trump's first budget proposal this spring.

Though Winfree is not incredibly well known outside of conservative think tanks, he's been a force in the Trump world dating back to the days when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ran the transition. (That seems like so long ago!)

Winfree joined the transition from the Heritage Foundation, where he served as the director of an institute devoted to economic policy. He then worked on the OMB "landing team" before eventually landing himself a top slot in the White House alongside another Trump transition member, Andrew Bremberg.

Now, he's expected to play the starring role in drafting Trump's first budget and translating campaign promises into real budgetary language; the proposal will likely include deep spending cuts at domestic agencies. It's unclear who at OMB will help him with the proposal, since several important, politically appointed positions remain unfilled, per Pro's Sarah Ferris.

For a preview of what could come, it might be worth checking out this Heritage budget blueprint from February 2016 of which Winfree was the lead author. (Topline takeaways: It eliminates several Department of Energy offices and programs, not related to nuclear weapons, and proposes big cuts at Interior, EPA, Labor, Transportation and State by wholesale elimination of programs.)

Winfree's D.C. connections: In addition to his work at Heritage (where he's done two stints), he's also worked for the Senate Budget Committee (under the direction of another influential Trump transition figure, Eric Ueland) and has degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and George Mason University.