President Barack Obama proposed a $3.8 trillion budget on Monday for fiscal 2013 that aims to slash the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years but still envisions growth in the government's major health benefit programs. Here is the agency-by-agency breakdown:
Spending: $154.7 billion
Percentage Change from 2012: 4.8 percent increase
Discretionary Spending: $23 billion
Highlights: Obama's budget envisions savings of $32 billion over 10 years by cutting some farm subsidies, such as eliminating direct payments, which are made regardless of price and crop yield. Other subsidies are paid only when prices dip or a farmer's revenue drops.
Obama and his Republican predecessor, President George W. Bush, have proposed similar cuts in every annual budget for the last several years to no avail as Congress has blocked their attempts. But the mood has shifted on Capitol Hill, where even farm-state lawmakers say that direct payments should be cut.
Lawmakers are supposed to consider a new five-year farm bill in 2012, though its fate is uncertain in an election year. In early negotiations last fall, farm-state members agreed to cut $23 billion over 10 years and eliminate direct payments. Obama's proposal would go even further, achieving savings through reducing subsidies to crop insurance companies and consolidating some programs aimed at protecting environmentally sensitive land.
Other cuts would come through consolidation of department offices across the country that was announced earlier this year. The department would close about 260 offices and offer early retirement and targeted buyouts of employees in more than 15 agencies and offices, reducing the USDA workforce by about 900 jobs. The department has said the consolidations and other efforts to cut administrative costs would save about $150 million a year.
The budget would increase dollars for agricultural research grants and direct loans for projects in low-income rural areas, including schools, hospitals, day care facilities, fire stations and police stations.
The administration would maintain eligibility requirements for food stamps, which cost the government an estimated $75 billion last year and are the bulk of the department's total budget. Obama's budget also proposes to continue food-stamp benefits for some adults without dependents that were scheduled to expire.
Spending: $9.2 billion
Percentage Change from 2012: 15.6 percent increase
Discretionary Spending: $8 billion
Highlights: Obama's proposed budget would provide $708 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories with the goal of making U.S. manufacturers more competitive. The president also is calling for spending $517 million on the International Trade Administration to promote U.S. exports in key markets abroad and to improve trade enforcement.
Obama's budget blueprint calls for more than $5 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an increase of about $160 million.
The administration would increase funds for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to accelerate patent processing and improve patent quality.
Obama also wants $10 billion to help build an interoperable public safety broadband network. Those costs would be offset by auctioning spectrum used to expand wireless broadband access and services.