NEW YORK (
) -- Though
House Speaker John Boehner has demanded more substantial cuts
from the White House, President Barack Obama has a long list of programs he wishes to eliminate or shrink in his fiscal year 2013 budget.
A look through the White House's budget cuts suggests that every department is due for some slashes if the president gets his way. Though this budget proposal is unlikely to be what Congress passes into law, here's a peek at some of the more surprising cuts Obama has proposed.
Beach Grants, Environmental Protection Agency 2012 Enacted: $10 million; 2013 Request: eliminated; Saved: $10 million States, tribes and territories have used the grants for more than 10 years to monitor water quality of coastal and Great Lakes beaches. Why cut?: Obama believes the agencies set up to monitor the beaches now have the ability and knowledge to operate without federal support.
- Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education Payment Program, Health and Human Services 2012 Enacted: $265 million; 2013 Request: $88 million; Saved: $177 million The program trains pediatricians who specifically work in the nation's freestanding children's hospitals. Why cut?: The administration said it will no longer fund "indirect costs" associated with the program. "Indirect graduate medical education (IME) costs are not well-documented and studies indicate that they may be overstated," it explained. The budget describes indirect costs as, for example, expenditures associated with reduced productivity of hospital staff because the staff is helping train residents.
- Clean Automotive Technologies, EPA 2012 Enacted: $16 million; 2013 Request: eliminated; Saved: $16 million The program has researched, developed and evaluated advanced vehicle engines that help increase fuel efficiency, reduce pollutant emissions and cut greenhouse gases. Why cut?: "Because other Federal programs are better positioned to research, develop, demonstrate, and deploy a broad suite of advanced vehicle technologies," the proposal says. The budget suggests the Energy Department's vehicles technology program as one alternative.
- Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, EPA 2012 Enacted: $2.38 billion; 2013 Request: $2.03 billion; Saved: $359 million Provides capitalization grants to states, which then provide a 20% match and make loans to municipalities for water infrastructure projects. Why cut?: Obama's budget doesn't specify why it wants to cut $359 million from the program. Instead, it appears to maneuver around the question by providing an alternative answer: "At the level requested in the 2013 budget, states will still be able to provide over $6 billion annually in water infrastructure loans to municipalities over the long term. ... A number of systems could also have access to capital through the administration's proposed National Infrastructure Bank."
- Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program, EPA 2012 Enacted: $30 million; 2013 Request: $15 million; Saved: $15 million Helps states reduce emissions from diesel engines by replacing or retrofitting older diesel engines that pollute more than newer ones. Why cut?: The administration argued that it can save $15 million by providing rebates "on the purchase of pollution control technology and grants for revolving loan programs" and that it would be best to begin targeting the funds to communities in need -- low income and high exposure areas near ports and other freight distribution hubs.
- Health Care Services Grant Program, Department of Agriculture 2012 Enacted: $3 million; 2013 Request: eliminated; Saved: $3 million The 2008 Farm Bill created this program to provide health needs to people living in the Delta region. It specifically develops health care services, health education programs and health care job training programs. Why cut?: The administration argued that the USDA does not have the experience to effectively evaluate or implement the program. Instead, the proposal would prefer to save the $3 million and replace it with Health and Human Services programs that already support "similar goals."
- Housing for Persons With Disabilities, Department of Housing and Urban Development 2012 Enacted: $165 million; 2013 Request: $150 million; Saved: $15 million Section 811 housing program provides affordable, supportive housing for very low-income individuals with disabilities. Why cut?: Again, the justification doesn't say exactly why it would cut $15 million from this program. It said the funding for new project rental assistance awards (which is reduced to $54 million in 2013) would create 1,850 new units.
- International Forestry, Department of Agriculture 2012 Enacted: $8 million; 2013 Request: $4 million; Saved: $4 million The program promotes sustainable forest management for other countries, and delivers technical assistance, policy development and disaster preparedness. Why cut?: The administration said this program is not consistent with the Forest Service's mission to focus on domestic forestry.
- Jobs Corps, Department of Labor 2012 Enacted: $1.7 billion; 2013 Request: $1.65 billion; Saved: $53 million Job Corps offers education and vocational training to disadvantaged youth ages 16 through 24. Why cut?: The administration said some Job Corps centers are "chronically low-performing" based on educational and employment outcomes. Underperformance at these centers, the budget said, have trended lower for many years.
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Department of Health and Human Services 2012 Enacted: $3.47 billion; 2013 Request: $3.02 billion; Saved: $452 million The program provides funding for winter fuels costs for those who are most in need. Why cut?:The administration said the $3.02 billion 2013 request is more than the president's 2012 budget proposal, which they said recognized the expected increase in winter fuel costs. Regardless, it would remain $452 million below the enacted amount in 2012. The administration said constrained resources will lead the program to provide assistance where it's needed most, and that if price trends rise above the expected level, contingency funds will be released to help the most vulnerable households.
- Children's Mental Health Grant, Department of Health and Human Services 2012 Enacted: $117 million; 2013 Request: $89 million; Saved: $28 million It is a small competitive grant the supports community based systems of care for children. Why cut?: The budget is looking to reduce smaller competitive grants like this one. Instead, the Community Mental Health Services Block grants would support former Children's Mental Health grant activities. The 2013 budget said it would continue funds for all existing grantees of the children's grant, but not award any new grants.
- Public Broadcasting Grants, Department of Agriculture 2012 Enacted: $3 million; 2013 Request: eliminated; Saved: $3 million The grant provides funds to support rural public television stations that are converting to digital broadcasts. Why cut?: The White House said the digital conversion efforts largely are complete, which means there is no more need for the program.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.
- Rural Business Opportunity Grants, Department of Agriculture 2012 Enacted: $2 million; 2013 Request: eliminated; Saved: $2 million The grants provide assistance to small, new rural businesses in order to help rural development. Why cut?: The administration said it is duplicative of the Rural Business Enterprise grants. In other words, the administration believes the training and assistance for this program can be funded through the Rural Business Enterprise grants.