White House Budget Chief Orders Agencies To Find Savings
The signal indicates a need for real cuts from discretionary appropriations without budget gimmicks.
The Associated Press: White House Orders Agencies To Cut Their Budgets
It's a microcosm of the budget battling that has consumed Congress all year: The Obama administration wants federal agencies to save money while Republicans push for additional savings to take a substantial bite out of the government's towering pile of IOUs. White House budget chief Jacob Lew has ordered agency heads to submit spending plans for the upcoming budget at least 5 percent below this year's levels. He also wants them to propose ways to trim a total of at least 10 percent of their spending. Lew's letter did not rule out, or even address, the possibility of finding savings from benefit programs. But [John Boehner's spokesman Michael] Steel's remark pointed directly at the major fault line that has blocked a sweeping debt-cutting deal between the two parties: Democrats have resisted paring benefits from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while Republicans have refused to consider tax increases (Fram, 8/19).
Politico: White House Memo Urges Cuts To Federal Agencies
Lew writes that he wants to see real cuts from discretionary appropriations and even warns against a tactic he has frequently used himself in negotiating with Republicans: substituting savings from mandatory benefit or subsidy programs also funded through the appropriations bills. But the director is clearly hoping that agency heads will show some initiative by highlighting those programs where spending could contribute to President Barack Obama's goal of jobs creation and economic growth (Rogers, 8/18).