Budget Will Propose Program Cuts, Consolidations to Save $25B

The Obama budget will propose canceling the funding in the Agriculture appropriations bill for catfish inspections.  Currently catfish inspection is also handled by the FDA and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Obama budget will propose canceling the funding in the Agriculture appropriations bill for catfish inspections. Currently catfish inspection is also handled by the FDA and the National Marine Fisheries Service. dmitriyd/Shutterstock.com

The president’s fiscal 2014 budget set for release on Wednesday morning will “go further” than past submissions in cutting and consolidating wasteful or duplicative programs, according to an Obama administration official who spoke only on background.

Congress can expect to receive 215 proposals for cuts, consolidations and savings that together are projected to save more than $25 billion in 2014.

Specifics, the official said, include a proposal to streamline more than half of the multi-agency science, technology, engineering and math education programs through a “bold reorganization” of efforts for K-12, undergraduate, graduate and informal education programs. Currently the so-called STEM programs number more than 220 and are spread across 13 agencies.

The Obama budget also will propose canceling the current funding requirement in the Agriculture appropriations bill for catfish inspections so that USDA can focus on poultry and other meat inspections. Currently catfish inspection is handled by three agencies: USDA, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Marine Fisheries Service, a Government Accountability Office report on program duplication released Tuesday noted.

The government’s efforts in job training currently overlap across 40 programs, according to the administration official, so the fiscal 2014 budget will propose consolidating some by creating, for example, “a universal displaced worker program that will reach more than a million workers a year with a set of core services, combining the best elements of two more narrowly-targeted programs.”

(Image via dmitriyd/Shutterstock.com)

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