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Obama budget to propose $25 billion in specific cuts

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President Obama's budget will call for more than $25 billion in specific spending cuts, the White House budget office said Tuesday, a day ahead of the blueprint's release.

"From day one, the president has made rooting out waste and improving the way government works a top priority," budget office Controller Danny Werfel said in a blog post previewing the cuts.

The total level of cuts is down slightly from the president's budget submission last year, when he found $28.6 billion in cuts and savings, with huge chunks of that coming from reducing the budgets for the Army Corps of Engineers and transportation grants.

Presidents every year propose specific line-items they say should be eliminated or trimmed back as part of their budget, but most of those items run into trouble in Congress, where lawmakers jealously guard their pet projects.

Indeed, just last month Sen. Tom Coburn offered an amendment based on one of Mr. Obama's recommended cuts from last year, proposing to trim $8 million from National Heritage Areas. Mr. Coburn wanted to use that money to restore public tours of the White House.

But the Senate rejected his bid, with lawmakers saying they didn't want to lose the money going to sites in their home states.

Still, Mr. Obama has had some successes. In his first year in office, he won more of his specific spending cuts than President George W. Bush ever managed, according to a Washington Times review.

The White House said this year's list of cuts will include 215 individual items.

Even if Mr. Obama were to win all of those cuts, the $25 billion price tag would do little to balance the federal deficit, which is projected to reach more than $800 billion this year.

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