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Agency-by-agency summary of Obama budget
Question of the Day
Discretionary spending: $11.8 billion
Percentage change from 2014: 1.7 percent decrease
Highlights: Obama’s budget would put into force his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 now to $10.10, which has encountered resistance on Capitol Hill from many Republicans. It would beef up job training and employment programs and consolidate and modernize training programs to help displaced workers. It would strengthen the Pension Guarantee Corporation to serve as a backstop to insure pension payments for workers whose companies have failed. It would also streamline the unemployment insurance system. It would earmark additional funds to help states launch paid-leave programs
Discretionary spending: $17.5 billion.
Percentage change from 2014: 0.6 percent decrease.
Highlights: NASA’s budget would essentially remain about the same with a tiny decrease. But if the Obama Administration gets its “opportunity” add-on budget, NASA would get an extra $885 million. That would make the space agency’s budget rise by 4.5 percent.
NASA also announced that it is planning a robotic mission to Jupiter’s watery moon Europa, where astronomers say there could be life. Agency officials didn’t have a cost for such a big mission, but included $15 million in planning in the budget proposal.
The regular budget would decrease science spending by $179 million - 3 percent. But if the add-on spending gets approved, which is considered not likely, science spending would go back to slightly above 2014 spending levels. The regular budget would also trim exploration spending by $137 million but the add-on would more than make up for that with $350 million in extra exploration spending.
The regular budget would increase spending by $275 million for the International Space Station and $152 million for the commercial spaceflight program that would pay private firms to take cargo and, eventually crew, to the station. The budget includes money to fund NASA efforts that would start launching people from the United States again in 2017 in private rockets. It also includes money to send astronauts on still-to-be-built NASA large rockets and crew capsules to an asteroid by 2025 and toward Mars by the mid-2030s. The agency plans 16 science and cargo launches in the upcoming budget year and to continue work on the over-budget $8.8 billion dollar James Webb space telescope that would launch in 2018. The agency also said it plans to mothball an airborne infrared telescope unless European countries pitch in on funding.
Agency: State and U.S. Agency for International Development
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