President Obama’s $3.9 trillion fiscal 2015 budget proposal is a mixed bag in terms of budget winners and losers.
Of the Cabinet departments and major agencies listed in the chart below, 11 would see their spending levels decrease from their fiscal 2014 enacted budgets; the budgets of four would remain the same; and seven agencies would receive a discretionary funding boost. The biggest losers, according to these statistics, are the Justice Department and the Small Business Administration. The Pentagon’s budget would remain flat, while the Commerce Department is in line for the biggest boost of the major agencies, with a fiscal 2015 request that is 6 percent more than its fiscal 2014 enacted budget.
The president’s fiscal 2015 proposal adheres to the spending levels in the 2013 bipartisan budget agreement, and allocates $56 billion for a wide-ranging new jobs initiative that includes more training opportunities for the federal workforce as well as efforts to improve government management and procurement.
“The budget outlines the steps my administration is taking to create a 21st century government that is more efficient, effective and supportive of economic growth,” the president’s budget message stated. “Our citizens and businesses expect their government to provide the same level of service experienced in the private sector, and we intend to deliver.” Obama also said his budget proposal “invests in the government’s most important resource, its workers, ensuring that we can attract and retain the best talent in the federal workforce and foster a culture of excellence.”
Clarification: An earlier version of this story included somewhat misleading information about the General Services Administration’s budget. According to Table S-11 in the White House document, the proposed fiscal 2015 budget for the agency is $0.2 billion, $1.6 billion less, or 89 percent less, than the enacted fiscal 2014 budget of $1.8 billion. However, GSA spokesman Dan Cruz says the president's fiscal 2015 budget request for GSA is actually an increase of $490 million from fiscal 2014. In fiscal 2014, the agency plans to pay off its debt to the Federal Financing Bank – a debt stemming from the 1980s -- with a one-time payment of $2.1 billion, which is included in its Federal Building Fund balances.
Here’s a look at how the major agencies would fare under Obama’s proposal: