Polls had shown the former Massachusetts governor well ahead of rivals.
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Obama team sees fiscal crunch as mechanism for streamlining business-related agencies.
Gap is not expected to get much smaller in the coming years if Bush era tax cuts are extended.
Acting procurement chief wants reimbursement no higher than salaries of top federal executives.
Some of the GOP candidate's big plans have big price tags.
Annual address notes that department handled record number of natural disasters.
Spokeswoman says plans were under way before a Jan. 24 congressional hearing on the agency's handling of protestors.
Chief of premier science agency warns that the hardest thing about change is not doing it.