- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Following is an agency-by-agency glance at President Bush's proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The spending totals reflect new discretionary spending authority sought for each agency, and do not include mandatory spending such as Medicare and interest on the federal debt.
Department of Justice
Spending: $17.7 billion
Percentage change from 2003: -3.3 percent
Highlights:
Proposed increase of $598.2 million for preventing and combating terrorism for FBI and other agencies.
FBI counterintelligence would be increased by $69.9 million and 583 positions, including 94 new agents. Another $60.6 million increase would go to the FBI's Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force.
FBI Computer Intrusion Program, which fights cyber-terrorism and cyber-crime, would rise by $41 million and 113 positions.
Planned increase of $24.5 million for the Justice Department's corporate fraud prosecution efforts, including $16 million more for FBI and $7.9 million for federal prosecutors.
Spending for anti-drug-trafficking efforts would rise by $117.9 million, with $58 million of that going to a task force that focuses on organized drug traffickers around the world.
A proposed increase of $101.2 million for improved DNA analysis to improve its use as a tool in crime investigations.
No new spending for the COPS program that provides grants to local governments to hire or redeploy local police officers. Through 2002, grants were awarded for more than 117,000 officers, but the Justice Department says it has found their effectiveness at reducing crime "inconclusive."
These several increases, of over $900 million, are slightly more than offset by a single large cut of about $1 billion in programs to aid crime victims.
Department of State
Spending: $27.4 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +11.6 percent
Highlights:
Would provide $646.7 million to enhance security equipment and pay for other upgrades at U.S. diplomatic posts and to hire 85 additional security professionals.
Construction to improve security at U.S. embassies and consulates would receive $1.5 billion, including $761.4 million for new embassy compounds in seven countries and $128.3 million for a new embassy in Germany.
Seeks $18.8 billion, a $2.4 billion increase, for foreign assistance, including $4.4 billion in military aid and $2.5 billion in economic aid. The Middle East would get the most economic help, $1.6 billion. South Asia would get $395 million, including $150 million for Afghanistan.
Would provide $1 billion for 44 international organizations, including the United Nations. Seeds $71.4 million to renew U.S. membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization after18 years.
Would provide $550.2 million for projected U.N. peacekeeping assessments.
Requests $736 million to improve border security against terrorists and in improving the visa system.
Would provide $296.9 million for the public-diplomacy program, which includes information and cultural programs "to build understanding for the U.S., its policy objectives and the values of the American people."
Requests $450 million for Mr. Bush's five-year, $10 billion global AIDS initiative. The money would go for prevention, drugs and care for 10 million HIV-infected people and AIDS orphans. Africa is the primary target.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Spending: $31.3 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +1.3 percent
Highlights:
Would provide an additional $113 million in block grants to state and local agencies for affordable housing for low-income families. The extra money would increase the program's overall budget to $2.2 billion. It is intended to compensate for the loss of a program that paid for the revitalization of severely distressed public housing.
Seeks $200 million to help provide downpayments to about 40,000 low- and middle-income families who want to become first-time home buyers.
Would slightly increase housing-counseling payments to $45 million. The money would help more families manage their finances and improve poor credit ratings so they can become home owners.

Federal Election Commission
Spending: $50 million
Percentage Change from 2003: +11.1 percent
Highlights:
Would increase spending on staff by $3 million, to $35 million. That will let the commission add about 30 employees to the roughly 350 it now has.
Would add $1 million for data and information divisions, including funding for publications and briefings around the country to educate the public and political players about the nation's new campaign-finance law.

Department of Defense
Spending: $379.9 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +4.2 percent
Highlights:
Pay raises for service members would range from 2 percent to 6.3 percent, depending on rank and length of service.
Includes $245 million to maintain a scaled-down version of the air patrols over the United States that began Sept. 11, 2001, but makes no provision for the cost of continuing the war in Afghanistan or potential war against Iraq. Congress would be asked to approve a separate, supplemental spending bill to cover war costs.
Among the military services, the biggest spending increase would be for Navy shipbuilding, up 2.7 percent. The Navy would build seven new ships during the budget year, two more than this year, plus it would have $1.1 billion to continue the conversion of four Trident nuclear submarines to conventional subs capable of launching cruise missiles.
Special operations forces, which are taking a more prominent role in the global war on terrorism, would get a 1.5 percent increase, as would missile-defense programs and spending on space and unmanned aerial vehicles.
cAll three fighter aircraft programs that had seemed to be in danger of cancellation or curtailment the Air Force F/A-22 Raptor, the Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet and the multiservice Joint Strike Fighter would continue. The Raptor would get $5.2 billion, the Super Hornet $3.5 billion and the Joint Strike Fighter $4.4 billion.
Department of Education
Spending: $53.1 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +5.6 percent.
Would increase spending by $1 billion, to $12.4 billion total, for programs that provide remedial education to poor children.
Would increase spending by $1 billion, to $9.5 billion, for state grants to serve children with disabilities.
Would provide $756 million in school-choice programs, including $320 million for charter schools, which run independently of public schools but receive tax dollars.
Would increase spending by $1.8 billion, to $12.7 billion, for Pell Grants to eliminate cash shortfall and maintain top $4,000 award for those receiving this need-based college aid.
Would forgive up to $17,500 in federal loans, up from $5,000, for those who teach math, science and special education in poor school districts.
Would cut and shift money from programs the administration contends have "failed to produce results," including the Even Start literacy and the Safe and Drug Free Schools program.
Mr. Bush's proposed spending increase for the Education Department is among the largest for any domestic agency. In particular, Mr. Bush wants to funnel more money into programs for poor and disabled children, although some education advocates say those increases should be greater.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Spending: $28.1 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +10.6 percent
Highlights:
Would increase medical care and research spending by $2.62 billion, bringing its total to $26.2 billion.
Would increase spending on burial benefits by $12 million to help open four new national cemeteries and improve some of the existing 120 national cemeteries.
Provides $225 million for construction of new facilities as part of a plan to close and consolidate underused hospitals and open or expand new ones.
The additional $2.7 billion proposed for 2004 is the highest percent increase ever requested by a president for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The budget includes a proposal to restrict long-term nursing home care to veterans with severe service-connected disabilities.

Department of Labor
Spending: $11.5 billion
Percentage change from 2003: -0.5 percent
Highlights:
Would increase enforcement of job-safety and health standards by 2 percent, to $165.3 million. Overall spending for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would rise by 3 percent, to $450 million.
Would increase enforcement and fraud investigations into retirement and pension programs by nearly 10 percent.
Would provide $2 billion more to help long-term unemployed workers pay for job-search efforts.
The administration proposes a major overhaul of employment and job-training services provided in the Workforce Investment Act that Congress must reauthorize this year. Various grant programs and funding for employment services would be consolidated into just two categories: adult and youth initiatives. Funding essentially would stay flat at $6.4 billion.

Energy Department
Spending: $23.4 billion.
Percentage change from 2003: +5.9 percent.
Highlights:
Would expand programs to develop clean coal technologies, safeguard nuclear materials, move ahead with a proposed nuclear waste site in Nevada, and spur development of hydrogen fuel cells.
Calls for spending $7.2 billion for environmental cleanup of radioactive waste left over from Cold War nuclear-weapons production, a slight increase over this year. Also earmarks $6.2 billion, an increase of $533 million, for maintaining current nuclear warheads.
Would spend $591 million, a 75 percent increase over what Congress is providing this year, to move ahead with development of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. Much of that money would go for getting a federal permit for the project sometime in 2004.
Calls for $321 million for research into clean coal technology as part of a 10-year, $2 billion program, double the spending on such programs in recent years.
As previously announced, the budget would provide $273 in fiscal 2004, as part of a $1.5 billion, five-year program to promote development of hydrogen fuel-cells for cars and small power stations.

Agency: Army Corps of Engineers
Spending: $4 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +0.8 percent
Highlights:
Would spend $145 million for environmental restoration projects in Florida's Everglades and $115 million for navigation in New York/New Jersey Harbor.
Would spend $98 million for hydropower and endangered species in the Columbia River and $73 million for navigation in the Ohio River.

Environmental Protection Agency
Spending: $7.6 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +0.1 percent
Highlights:
Would increase spending for enforcement activities by $21 million, including hiring 100 more inspectors.
Would cut spending for general investigations by $3 million.
The budget includes money to implement legislation to reduce power-plant pollution, which is pending in Congress. It also proposes increasing federal loans to states for water-quality programs by $21 billion.

Department of Interior
Spending: $10.6 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +3.5 percent
Highlights:
Would increase spending by $26 million for the National Wildlife Refuge System, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2003.
Would increase spending by $168 million for Indian trust-management reforms to meet federal court mandates.
As part of the department's budget, Mr. Bush proposes authorizing oil and gas exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has been a deeply controversial centerpiece of his energy policy.

Department of Agriculture
Spending: $19.5 billion
Percentage change from 2003: -0.2 percent
Highlights:
Includes $678 million for the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, which checks meat and poultry at packing plants for bacteria that can cause food poisoning, such as E. coli. Also, the Bush administration wants Congress to approve "user fees" to recover the cost of paying inspectors in plants if they work overtime.
The federal crop insurance program would see an 18 percent increase in spending over 2003. The $3.4 billion for the program would help farmers protect themselves from crop losses caused by bad weather. The budget proposes to cap the amount that insurance companies in the program are reimbursed for delivery expenses at 20 percent of the premium to help the government save $68 million.
Spending on farmland, wetlands and wildlife conservation programs would be $2.6 billion. The Forest Service would be given $4.7 billion to reduce the risk of wildfires through the president's plan to thin forests.

Department of Homeland Security
Spending: $26.7 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +5.1 percent (includes spending for agencies being rolled into the new department)
Highlights:
Calls for $373 million for border security, including radiation detectors and x-ray machines to inspect cargo containers.
Calls for $500 million to study vulnerable critical infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants, water supplies and communications networks.
Would spend almost $300 million for communications to pass terrorist-threat information to local authorities and the private sector.
Calls for $400 million to maintain a stockpile of vaccines to be used during a bioterror attack.
Would cut about $500 million from the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security. Officials said this reflects a drop in one-time spending last year that went for screening equipment that is now in place.
The budget would fund the department's first full year of operations. Including money collected from fees, it goes to $29.7 billion.

Department of Treasury
Spending: $11.4 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +3.5 percent
Highlights:
Treasury gets a 3.5 percent increase when compared to a 2003 budget figure that was adjusted to reflect historic one-time transfers of key law-enforcement agencies to the new Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department. Without that adjustment, the 2004 budget request would represent a decline in funding of 28.4 percent from the previous year.
The biggest chunk of the 2004 budget roughly $10.4 billion goes to the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS would get $429 million to continue a major overhaul of its computer system, a mammoth multiyear modernization project.
The IRS would get $133 million to crack down on abusive tax schemes and tax shelters which some high-income individuals and businesses use to avoid paying federal taxes. Treasury says it expects to conduct more audits in this area. And, the IRS would get $100 million to correct problems in the earned-income tax-credit program, which has been riddled by erroneous payments.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network would receive $57.6 million up nearly 14 percent from the president's 2003 request to help the government sever terrorists from their sources of financing and to combat money laundering.
The money would be used to help carry out and expand if necessary provisions of the 2001 Patriot Act, a sweeping anti-money-laundering law.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Spending: $15.5 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +3.1 percent
Highlights:
Budget developed before the Columbia disaster Saturday; likely to become the focus of close scrutiny in Congress.
Would initiate Project Prometheus to develop nuclear propulsion for high-speed space travel, to be used first to explore the moons of Jupiter.
Would encourage development of optical communication systems which can carry more data than current radio waves.
Provides a modest increase for the space shuttle program, largely to extend the life of the shuttles because of cost-related delays in the development of the reusable launch vehicle.
Cuts funding for earth-science research.

Securities and Exchange Commission
Spending: $841.5 million
Percentage change from 2003: +48 percent
Highlights:
Would increase spending on investigations and prosecutions of fraud by $78 million, to $282 million, in response to last year's wave of corporate and accounting scandals.
Spending on supervising and regulating the stock markets and brokerage firms would jump from $90.3 million to $131.6 million.

Health and Human Services
Spending: $66.2 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +2.5 percent

Department of Commerce
Spending: $5.4 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +5.2 percent
Highlights:
Would provide $662 million to the Bureau of Census for collection of timely economic and demographic information and to improve the design of the 2010 Census.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the government's number-crunchers responsible for taking the nation's economic pulse through quarterly reports on gross domestic product, would get $78.3 million to improve the accuracy and timeliness of the GDP and other economic reports.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology would receive $3.5 million to develop and certify a standard using "biometric identifiers," such as fingerprints, facial patterns and eye patterns, that could be used to verify the identity of people applying for a U.S. visa or seeking to enter the country.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which includes the National Weather Service, would receive an extra $133 million to improve severe-storm forecasts and the satellite network needed for weather and climate forecasts and research.

Department of Transportation
Spending: $53.3 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +6 percent
Highlights:
Would increase federal aid to states for highway construction to $29.3 billion, 6 percent more than in 2003.
Proposes $900 million for Amtrak, less than the $1.2 billion the railroad's president says it needs to keep running.
Would add $7 million for truck inspections at the Mexican border, for a total of $122 million.
Proposes further streamlining of environmental regulation processes for transportation projects.
Requests $7.3 billion for public transit, the same amount as in 2003.

Social Security Administration
Spending: $7.3 billion
Percentage change from 2003: +9 percent
Highlights:
Would raise administrative spending by nearly 8 percent to handle increased applications for benefits. Disability applications are expected to show a 22 percent rise between 1999 and 2004. Workload expected to jump as baby boomers begin retiring.
Would add $795 million for information technology to improve public service through the Internet and automated phone systems. Electronic processing of disability claims expected to help reduce wait, now an average of 1,146 days, because of backlogs.

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