FY 2007 Budget Proposal: Agency-by-Agency Breakdown
Domestic Programs Take the Hit
Budget Would Increase Security Spending but Cut or Curb 141 Programs
The Washington Post
Tuesday, February 7, 2006; Page A19
The $2.77 trillion budget plan President Bush sent to Congress yesterday emphasizes spending on the country's fight against terrorism, while deeply cutting domestic programs to deal with a budget deficit projected to reach an all-time high this year. The overall spending priorities closely match those the White House has had for the past few years.
The president's budget envisions eliminating or reducing 141 programs and cutting non-security discretionary spending by $2.2 billion from the current fiscal year. There are many ways to look at dollar figures in the budget. Outlays are the amount of money the government proposes to spend in the fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The administration generally discusses the agency's funding in terms of budget authority, the amount the law allows the government to commit to spend in either the current fiscal year or future years. Briefly, this is how each agency would fare, generally by budget authority, under Bush's budget for 2007 compared with what Congress enacted for fiscal 2006.
Department of Agriculture
The Agriculture Department is hit with the third-largest percentage decrease in spending of any department. Reductions would come from a 5 percent cut in commodity price supports, and in cuts to rural development, forest service, conservation and research programs.
The administration proposed similar cuts in commodity prices last year, but Congress rejected them under pressure from farm interests.
Among the winners are wetlands preservation -- with a proposal to spend $400 million to restore 250,000 acres, as opposed to 150,000 acres for 2006 -- and defense of the food supply, which would increase by $69 million to $322 million. The budget includes an additional $57 million for avian flu protection, surveillance and stockpiling of poultry vaccines.
Department of Commerce
The department's budget fall under Bush's proposals, to $6.139 billion, with increasing spending on the president's "American Competitiveness Initiative" offset by cuts in other areas.
Among the agencies to come under the knife would be Commerce's biggest, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which would suffer a 4.3 percent cut, to $3.681 billion. Acknowledging the need to spend more on tracking hurricanes, the budget provides increases of $110 million for development and acquisition of weather satellites and other funds for improved forecasting.
The budget for Commerce that concentrates on competitiveness -- the National Institute of Standards and Technology -- would fall as well, from $757 million to $581 million. But that is mainly because Bush is proposing -- as he has repeatedly in the past -- to eliminate the Advanced Technology Program and slash the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, both of which were Clinton administration favorites. Spending would rise to $540 million for NIST's scientific and technical research and services and construction of research facilities.
Department of Defense
The nearly $440 billion defense budget contains $110.8 billion for military personnel, including a modest 2.2 percent pay increase, as well as $84.2 billion for weapons systems and $73.2 billion for research and development.
Some of the major budget items include $6.6 billion for the Army's program to expand and modernize its brigades for easier deployment, and $3.7 billion for the Army's next generation of vehicles and communications known as the Future Combat System.
Also included are $2.6 billion to begin construction of two Navy DD(X) destroyers, as well as nearly $1 billion for two Littoral Combat Ships aimed at improving the Navy's ability to operate in coastal waters. An additional $1.9 billion will go toward developing and purchasing new unmanned aerial vehicles as part of the Pentagon's goal of expanding reconnaissance by the drones.
The growth in defense spending has slowed compared with earlier this decade, suggesting the defense buildup that began in 1999 and accelerated in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is winding down.
--Ann Scott Tyson
Department of Education
Education advocates expressed disappointment that the budget for the Education Department provides no new money for Title I funding for poverty aid to school districts, and fails to increase the federal Pell Grants, a need-based financial aid program for college students. Title I funding is up since Bush took office, but there has not been an increase in Pell grants for five years.
The $63 billion budget eliminates 42 programs -- including parent-resource centers, vocational programs and drug-free schools.
As part of Bush's American Competitiveness Initiative, funding has been increased to improve math and sciences education in K-12. There is $100 million proposed for America's Opportunity Scholarships, which offer vouchers to attend private schools and expanded tutoring for students who attend poor-performing public schools -- an initiative Congress has previously rejected.
The budget provides $200 million for School Improvement Grants to help states meet No Child Left Behind Act proficiency goals, but Democrats say that is insufficient. And there is $1.475 billion for a new program to help at-risk high school students struggling to reach grade level in reading and math.
Department of Energy
The department budget is essentially flat; the president's budget shows a modest increase of $20 million to nearly $23.6 billion, but the agency says it is actually a decrease of $6 million from fiscal 2006. Included is $250 million to fund a global nuclear energy program that the administration hopes will lead to the expansion of nuclear power production domestically and abroad. The department called yesterday for the development of technology to recycle nuclear fuel and create waste that is less hazardous and more difficult to use in weapons.
The budget adds money to research some alternative fuel technology. Environmental groups said the funding increases are insufficient.
Some programs designed to increase energy efficiency would be cut, as would research money for hydropower and geothermal energy. The spending plan cuts funding for oil and natural gas research programs. The administration, which sought unsuccessfully to cut the programs last year, said the industry can afford to pursue the research on its own given high oil and natural gas prices.
Environmental Protection Agency
The agency took another financial hit with a proposed budget of $7.32 billion for fiscal 2007. By contrast, Bush proposed spending $7.62 billion last year, and $8.37 billion for fiscal 2004.
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said the agency was managing its resources wisely, by putting more money into homeland security efforts and cleaner diesel fuel. But public health advocates and congressional Democrats questioned some of the proposed spending cuts, including reducing funding for state and local clean air programs by more than $35 million, a cut of about 16 percent.
Department of Health & Human Services
Bush is requesting a $58 billion increase for Health and Human Services, bringing total budget authority to $698 billion. Discretionary spending, however, would fall by $1.5 billion to $66 billion.
Two mandatory programs -- Medicare and Medicaid -- consume 84 percent of the HHS budget. The administration aims to squeeze $36 billion out of Medicare over the next five years, by cutting hospital payments, establishing competitive bidding for lab services and increasing premiums. For the first time this year, wealthy seniors will be charged higher premiums. The monthly premium would rise from $88.50 today, to between $100 and $155. By 2016, the administration projects 3.8 million seniors would pay the higher amounts.
Last year, Bush proposed trimming Medicaid growth by $45 billion over 10 years. Congress reduced that to a $5 billion cut over five years. The new budget calls for Medicaid savings of $13.5 billion over five years.
The Food and Drug Administration request is almost 4 percent over 2006, to about $2 billion. Much of the increase would expand food security and avian flu programs.
Overall, the National Institutes of Health would receive the same amount of money, although some is being shifted around. The National Cancer Institute would be reduced $40 million while the director's office would receive $140 million more for new projects.
HHS wants to trim $1.1 billion in state block grants that support job training, day care and mental health services. At the same time, the department would start several new programs, including the $50 million First Lady's Youth at Risk Initiative.
Department of Homeland Security
The president proposes increasing the Department of Homeland Security's budget of $31 billion for fiscal 2007, by $177 million. DHS also plans to collect $4.5 billion in existing and new fees, bringing its overall discretionary budget to $35.4 billion, a 6 percent boost.
The administration would raise $1.3 billion by hiking security fees for air travel, to $5 a flight for nonstop passengers from $2.50.
Homeland Security would spend $869 million to add 1,500 border patrol agents and 6,700 detention bed spaces. Congress requires adding 2,000 agents per year.
The budget would trim state and local programs by $258 million, or 9 percent, to $2.5 billion, including grants for law enforcement, terrorism prevention, training, emergency management and technical assistance, similar to cuts that Congress rejected last year. Instead, money would be beefed up for targeted urban areas, infrastructure protection and risk-based programs for all states and 75 metropolitan areas.
--Spencer S. Hsu
Department of Housing & Urban Development
The $33.6 billion budget for the Housing and Urban Development Department is a decrease from 2006 that is largely felt in HUD's signature program for distributing grants to states and cities for urban development.
The Community Development Block Grants Fund, whose core program budget is slashed by about 20 percent, helps pay for such things as sewers and affordable housing in needy areas, as well as support programs such as the Special Olympics and initiatives for native populations.
Other programs to redevelop commercial and industrial facilities, distribute grants to rural areas and offer loans to urban communities will be consolidated into the block grant fund.
The budget boosts funding to fight homelessness and to help low-income families afford housing and first-time homebuyers afford down payments and closing costs.
The request does not include funds for rebuilding in Hurricane Katrina-affected areas, though Congress recently added money for that.
--Zachary A. Goldfarb
Department of Interior
This department would face a nearly 3 percent cut under Bush's $10.5 billion budget proposal, but as with all the secretaries whose departments took cuts, Interior's Gale A. Norton said the agency would be able to meet its responsibilities.
Bush wants to provide more money for energy development on public lands, something he has long championed, boosting the department's energy programs by 10 percent to a total of $467.5 million.
On the other hand it would cut $100 million from the current national parks budget, putting funding for national parks at $2.16 billion. The programs that would lose the most money include land acquisition, construction and maintenance.
Tom Kiernan of the National Parks Conservation Association said Bush's proposal does nothing to address the $600 million annual shortfall facing national parks and "likely means . . . higher entrance fees for fewer services in our parks."
-- Juliet Eilperin
Department of Justice
The administration wants to cut department spending by $1.5 billion for a total of $19.5 billion, largely by slashing $1.1 billion from popular state and local programs.
Congress has resisted proposals to gut the law enforcement grants, such as ones to hire police or pay for jailing illegal immigrants.
Bush proposed to increase FBI funding by $371 million, or 6.5 percent, but not for new agents or analysts. Instead, the money would go to build secure facilities, headquarters space and other infrastructure for intelligence and counterterrorism programs, including $100 million for the Sentinel program, the replacement for the computerized Virtual Case File system the FBI abandoned last year.
The Drug Enforcement Administration would get an increase of $71 million, or 4.3 percent, some of it for intelligence sharing and Afghanistan operations.
Department of Labor
The department's budget would trim to $10.9 billion from $11.3 billion for fiscal 2007.
Funding for the Employment and Training Administration would decrease by $648 million to $9.4 billion, including cuts in the Workforce Investment Act. Some of those funds would be allocated to states under a new proposal, Career Advancement Accounts. Workers entering the workforce or transitioning between jobs would use the funds to purchase education and training. The total of the CAA program would be $3.4 billion.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's budget would increase by $11.2 million to $483.7 million; the Mine Safety and Health Administration's would increase by $10 million to $287.8 million.
Spending: $16.8 billion
Percentage Change from 2006: +1 percent
— Budget anticipates continued operation of the Space Shuttle through 2010 with 16 flights planned to complete the International Space Station and one flight to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
— Budget increases spending for solar system exploration, Earth-Sun science, exploring systems and technology. Decreases are set for education, business partnerships.
— Agency plans to shift some programs between operational centers.
— Plans call for a reduction in full time workers from 18,410 to 17,979.
Department of State
Spending for the State Department and key international affairs programs would climb by $3.7 billion to $33.9 billion. Reflecting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's interest in public diplomacy, the proposal would boost spending on educational and cultural programs by 11 percent, to $474 million, with an emphasis on Muslim countries. The budget reserves $115 million to foster training in foreign languages such as Arabic and Urdu by Americans. At the same time, Voice of America would eliminate radio service in Russian and other languages.
A big chunk of the money is $3 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corp., a relatively new foreign aid tool that would tie aid to a country's meeting certain criteria.
The budget would reduce aid in such areas as development assistance and child survival and health. It would expand a new office devoted to reconstruction and stabilization in post-conflict countries, and would create a $75 million fund to quickly deploy civilian personnel to unstable regions.
Department of Transportation
The administration is seeking $65.6 billion to fund the nation's transportation system, up from $65.5 billion for fiscal 2006. But the majority of the money is part of the highway and aviation trust funds. Excluding that, the request is a decrease of about $13.2 billion.
As part of the smaller budget, the administration is seeking about $50 million to fund the nation's essential air service program, down from $100 million last year. The program subsidizes airline operations for flying into smaller cities.
Funding for Amtrak is cut to $900 million from $1.2 billion that Congress passed last year.
The budget includes $13.7 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration for hiring safety inspectors, air traffic controllers and the construction of airport runways.
--Keith L. Alexander
Department of the Treasury
The administration is proposing to hold the budget for the department and for its main subsidiary, the Internal Revenue Service, essentially flat for the coming year.
Discretionary budget authority would total $11.6 billion, up from about $11.5 billion for fiscal 2006. IRS spending authority would rise 0.2 percent to $10.591 billion from $10.545 billion.
The IRS, after years of shifting resources to improve taxpayer service, has come under fire for what critics see as inadequate attention to enforcement. So the agency has been swinging back in recent years, and that trend would continue next year as budget authority for taxpayer assistance, return processing and other management functions would decline 1.2 percent, while enforcement would rise by 1.8 percent.
--Albert B. Crenshaw
Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs would see one of the biggest increases in discretionary spending for any agency: a boost of $2.6 billion to $35.7 billion. Most of the spending goes to health care -- the department expects to treat 5.3 million veterans next year.
Once again the VA budget calls for increasing prescription drug co-payments for non-disabled, higher-income veterans from $8 to $15. It would require them to pay an annual enrollment fee of $250. Congress has rejected this in the past.
Overall, the VA budget would rise to $80.6 billion, including $42.1 billion for entitlements, such as disability payments and rehabilitation programs. Officials hope to avoid a repeat of last year, when the VA received $1.2 billion in emergency funding after it had underestimated the number of personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who would seek VA medical treatment.
The Washington Post