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Administration's Budget Would Cut Heavily Into Many Areas of Domestic Discretionary Spending After 2005

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The President’s budget calls for significant cuts in domestic discretionary spending over the next five years. (“Discretionary” programs are those whose funding is determined by the 13 annual appropriations bills. The term excludes entitlements, such as Medicare or veterans’ pensions.) While attention has focused on programs the President proposes to cut or to increase in 2005, there has been far less attention to the longer-run plan included in the President’s budget to cut discretionary spending in nearly all domestic areas of the government in the years from 2006 to 2009.

By 2006, funding for most domestic discretionary programs outside homeland security would be cut below the 2004 funding levels for those programs adjusted for inflation (i.e., below the Office of Management and Budget baseline). Moreover, the cuts would grow over time. By 2009, the Administration’s budget would set funding for these programs $49 billion below the OMB baseline, a 12 percent cut in funding. By contrast, defense and homeland security programs would be funded above the OMB baseline in all years from 2005 to 2009.