An agency-by-agency guide to Obama's 2014 budget

Thursday - 4/11/2013, 4:01am EDT

The Associated Press

President Barack Obama has proposed a $3.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2014 that aims to slash the deficit by a net $600 billion over 10 years, raise taxes and trim popular benefit programs, including Social Security and Medicare. The White House claims deficit reductions of $1.8 trillion, but Obama's proposal would negate more than $1 trillion in automatic spending cuts that started in March. Those cuts average 5 percent for domestic agencies and 8 percent for the Defense Department this year.

The agency-by-agency breakdown:

___

Agency: Agriculture

Total Spending: $145.8 billion

Percentage Change from 2013: 5.9 percent decrease

Discretionary Spending: $21.5 billion

Mandatory Spending: $124.4 billion

Highlights: Similar to years past, Obama's budget proposes savings by cutting farm subsidies. The proposal envisions a $37.8 billion reduction in the deficit by eliminating some subsidies that are paid directly to farmers, reducing government help for crop insurance and streamlining agricultural land conservation programs.

The Obama administration says many of these subsidies can no longer be justified with the value of both crop and livestock production at all-time highs. Farm income is expected to increase 13.6 percent to $128.2 billion in 2013, the highest inflation-adjusted amount in 40 years.

Obama and his Republican predecessor, President George W. Bush, have proposed similar cuts every year and Congress has largely ignored them. There is congressional momentum for eliminating some subsidies paid directly to farmers this year, though, as farm-state lawmakers search for ways to cut agricultural spending and pass a five-year farm bill. There is less appetite among lawmakers to cut crop insurance.

The budget also would overhaul the way American food aid is sent abroad, a move largely anticipated by farm and food aid groups. The United States now donates much of its food aid by shipping food overseas, a process many groups say is inefficient. The budget would transfer the money used to ship the food to cash accounts at the United States Agency for International Development. The administration says that would help 2 million more people annually and save an estimated $500 million over 10 years. Farm and shipping groups are strongly opposed to the idea.

The bulk of the USDA budget is dollars for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, which are expected to cost around $80 billion in the 2014 budget year. Costs for the program have more than doubled during Obama's presidency, driven by an ailing economy and an expansion of the benefit in 2009. Conservatives have called for cutting or overhauling food stamps, but the budget says the Obama administration strongly supports the current program "at a time of continued need."

___

Agency: Commerce

Total Spending: $11.7 billion

Percentage Change from 2013: 34.3 percent increase

Discretionary Spending: $8.6 billion

Mandatory Spending: $3.1 billion

Highlights: Obama wants to boost investments in research and development and export promotion in hopes of spurring economic growth.

The president is asking for $1 billion to set up a nationwide network of manufacturing innovation institutes to develop cutting-edge technologies to make U.S. manufacturing firms more competitive.

Obama's budget request also calls for $754 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories aimed at making American manufacturers more competitive in the global marketplace. The money is for promoting advances in areas such as cyber security, manufacturing, communications and disaster resilience.

The president also wants $113 million to create the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. The money would go to projects such as industrial parks and industry academic centers to promote long-term economic growth.

Obama's budget would also boost funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including its weather satellite programs.

The president is seeking $21 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program, which is a public-private partnership aimed at finding answers to manufacturing challenges that U.S. businesses face.

Obama also is requesting $520 million for the International Trade Administration.

___

Agency: Defense

Total Spending: $682.9 billion

Percentage Change from 2013: 0.5 percent increase

Discretionary Spending: $615.3 billion

Mandatory Spending: $67.6 billion

Highlights: The Pentagon is proposing savings mainly through ending or shrinking certain weapons programs, shaving health care benefits and reducing military construction. It also would slow the pace of military pay raises. Spending would otherwise be largely the same in all major categories as in 2013.

The budget proposal calls on Congress to approve a round of domestic military base closings in 2015, which would cost an estimated $2.4 billion in the short run but save an unspecified amount over the long term.

Although the U.S. is winding down its role in Afghanistan, the Pentagon faces enormous costs of pulling out its troops. The 2014 budget includes a "placeholder" figure of $88.5 billion for war costs, although that number is expected to be revised down slightly once the White House makes more decisions about the pace of 2014 troop withdrawals. The budget assumes that the U.S. will have 34,000 troops in Afghanistan at the end of the budget year in September, down from the current 63,000.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next page »