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Agency Budgets on the Chopping Block; DoD, VA Spared

Photo: Jack Moore

Many federal agency budgets are being put on the chopping block in what Federal Times calls the “first round of congressional jockeying” over fiscal year 2012 budgets.

The House Appropriations Committee has been wielding the budget axe most prolifically; it’s spending blueprint would cut discretionary spending by $30 billion, or 3 percent below this year’s levels.

According to Federal Times, the Agriculture Department’s budget will be reduced by 13 percent. Added together, the cuts at the Labor, Education and Health and Human Services departments amount to 12 percent. Meanwhile, the State Department and foreign aid programs will take an 18 percent cut, spiraling from $48.2 billion to $39.6 billion.

But some agencies are escaping the budget axe. Under the plan, the Defense Department’s base budget (excluding war spending) would expand to $530 billion, which Federal Times reports is a 3 percent increase. The Department of Veterans Affairs is due for an even bigger increase — 5 percent to about $180 billion.

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