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USDA Secretary Vilsack wresting with ways to cut budget
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White House budget officials have directed federal departments and agencies to find ways to set their Fiscal Year 2013 budget requests as much as 10 percent below current spending levels, with some priority programs getting additional funding.
Cuts of 5 to 10 percent. In an Aug. 17 memo, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said requests for discretionary appropriations for FY 2013, which begins Oct. 1, 2012, should be at least 5 percent below what departments and agencies received for FY 2011, unless they have been given specific direction otherwise. They were also asked to identify additional cuts that would put their requests 10 percent below the current level.
Link to OMB memo
Perspective: Even a 5 percent cut in discretionary appropriations, if carried out across the government, would amount to significantly less than the amount presumed by the just-enacted debt limit deal ( PL 112-25 ), which established spending caps for each of the next 10 years.
Other instructions. At the same time, particular programs that deserve more money should be identified, Lew’s memo said. Paring less effective or duplicative programs should free resources for those considered to deliver the best results, OMB said.