- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 5, 2002

From combined dispatches
Agency-by-agency descriptions of President Bush's proposed 2003 budget:

Department of Agriculture
Spending: $74.4 billion
Percentage change from 2002: -2.8 percent
Highlights:
Spending on food stamps to rise 6.2 percent, to $24.1 billion
$146 million in new initiatives for combating agricultural diseases and improving food safety.
Crop subsidies are expected to drop nearly 40 percent, or $5 billion, next year because of expected price increases for grain, cotton and soybeans. Those savings would be offset by higher spending on food stamps and other nutrition programs because of the poor economy and rule changes allowing some immigrants to qualify for benefits.
The budget includes a 50 percent boost in spending, or an additional $48 million, to better identify and respond to outbreaks of diseases such as foot-and-mouth.

Department of Transportation
Spending: $58.8 billion
Percentage change from 2002: -3.2 percent
After September 11, Congress created a new Transportation Security Administration to take over aviation security from the airlines. The budget includes $4.8 billion to hire 30,000 employees to screen passengers and luggage, to hire federal air marshals and to buy explosive-detection machines. Maritime security is getting $2.9 billion, including $406 million for the Coast Guard to improve port security. Commercial boats will be asked to pay a security fee to help cover the costs.
Highway spending is being slashed by almost $9 billion, because gasoline tax revenues have dropped. The administration provides money for Amtrak but says it should be replaced with a federal-state-private partnership, with states subsidizing money-losing routes.

Department of Health and Human Services
Spending: $488.8 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +6.4 percent
Highlights:
$27.2 billion for the National Institutes of Health, double what it was five years ago. Nearly half the increase is dedicated to bioterrorism-related research.
$190 billion over 10 years to add a prescription-drug benefit and make other changes to Medicare.
Mr. Bush's 2003 budget yesterday backed up his support for faith-based service groups with slight increases in available funding.
The Compassion Capital Fund, which Mr. Bush created to promote public-private partnerships in his faith-based initiative, asks for a second year for $100 million. Last year, Congress passed just $30 million.
On medical research, Mr. Bush asks Congress to complete an effort begun under President Clinton to double the budget for the National Institutes of Health over five years, a popular cause in Congress.

Department of Energy
Spending: $19.8 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +3.6 percent
Highlights:
$1.1 billion for nuclear nonproliferation, 10 percent more than this year, most of it to help Russia and former Soviet states safeguard nuclear materials.
An $800 million special fund to accelerate nuclear cleanup at top-priority weapons sites. Overall cleanup spending stays flat at $6.7 billion, meaning some sites would receive less money.
$50 million for stepped-up research into hydrogen fuel cell development for the new Freedom Car program, a government partnership with the automobile industry.
Assumes $1.2 billion in revenue for the right to explore for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, although Congress has not approved such exploration.

Department of Education
Spending: $50.3 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +2.8 percent
Highlights:
$1 billion for the Reading First Program, an increase of 11 percent.
Freezes spending on after-school, safety, drug-prevention and teacher quality grants.
Reduces spending for tutoring preschoolers and literacy and job training for their parents. Also reduces funding for school construction and repair on federal land.
President Bush wants to increase spending on the Reading First Program, which has a goal of having all students read by the end of third grade.
Mr. Bush also asked for increased spending on programs for disabled youngsters and poor students, but would freeze spending on after-school, safety, drug-prevention and teacher quality grants to states.
Mr. Bush wants to slash funding 20 percent for the Even Start program, which offers tutoring to preschoolers and literacy and job training for their parents.
He wants to increase spending 5.3 percent for the Pell Grant program, which gives up to $4,000 each year to low-income college students.
Mr. Bush asked for more money for historically black and Hispanic colleges.

Department of Justice
Spending: $29.4 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +27.4 percent
Highlights:
$1.9 billion in new spending authority for anti-terrorism measures, including a new immigration system to track foreign visitors and better aircraft with new surveillance features. Most of that money would go to the FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
$155 million for the FBI and INS to share intelligence information about foreign visitors.
$186 million for the FBI to improve its computers and radios, which the White House calls "seriously deficient."
The Bush administration is reducing federal aid to state and local police because it said there is no evidence the money has helped to reduce the nation's crime rates.

Department of Housing and Urban Development
Spending: $34.6 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +11.8 percent
Highlights:
34,000 new vouchers to bridge the gap between what low-income families can afford to pay and the market rent on private-sector apartments. The program now helps about 1.4 million households.
$100 million increase in block grants to localities to meet housing needs, to produce 23,000 new affordable rental units and rehabilitate 23,000 more.
The budget seeks to change the way about $5.8 billion in Community Development Block Grants are distributed, by directing them away from wealthier communities to help revitalize low- and moderate-income areas.
It proposes to increase homeownership by offering tax credits for up to 50 percent of the cost of building a new affordable home or making an old property affordable to a low-income homebuyer.
The administration has budgeted $4.5 million for Habitat for Humanity, a ministry that builds houses for the poor.
The budget provides $247 million for a program to reduce drug use in public housing. The administration proposed to eliminate it last year, but Congress refused to go along, providing $312 million this year.

Department of Labor
Spending: $56.6 billion
Percentage change from 2002: -3.5 percent
Highlights:
$5.9 billion for job training programs, a $505 million reduction that includes elimination of eight programs. The cuts are part of a governmentwide overhaul of job training.
Proposes a major overhaul of unemployment insurance benefits, including a 25 percent cut in payroll taxes that employers pay.
President Bush wants to cut 20 of the government's 48 job training programs that are housed under 10 agencies. The 17 departments administered by the Labor Department would be cut to nine.
Targets for elimination include the migrant and seasonal farm-worker program, which helps low-income workers find jobs outside agriculture; a grants program funded by high-tech workers' visa fees; and a grants program aimed at finding jobs for youth offenders.
The administration wants to cut businesses payroll taxes that help pay for workers' unemployment benefits, arguing it would spur economic expansion.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Spending: $56.5 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +9.8 percent.
Highlights:
$25.5 billion for medical programs, a $2.7 billion increase; and $31.5 billion for veterans' benefits programs, a $3.4 billion increase.
The spending increase on benefits is aimed at speeding up the claims process.
The medical programs' budget includes $409 million, up $38 million, to support medical and prosthetics research, and $2.9 billion, up $366 million, for drug benefits.
Among new initiatives are $892 million to fund federal civilian retiree benefits; $179 million for a new competitive grant program to expand or improve employment and training programs for veterans; and a $1,500 tax deduction for medical expenses for higher-income veterans with no service-related disabilities.

Department of Treasury
Spending: $398.2 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +4.1 percent
Highlights:
Most of the $398.2 billion in total Treasury outlays $353.1 billion goes to interest payments on the national debt.
$10.3 billion for Internal Revenue Service operations, an increase of 3.6 percent from 2002. Included is $418 million for continued work on a long-term plan to replace the agencies' antiquated computers. Another $102 million is requested to improve customer service and compliance with tax laws mainly by hiring more workers.
The Treasury budget also provides $52 million for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, up 10.6 percent. The network tries to cut off terrorists from their money, combat money laundering and uncover other financial crimes.
The president's budget request also proposes an education tax credit aimed at broadening school-choice options, particularly for low-income parents.
The refundable tax credit would provide up to $2,500 per year for parents with children in chronically failing public schools. Parents could use the money to pay for private school tuition, books and computers, among other things.
The proposed tax credit builds on changes made in the new education overhaul law, signed by the president early this year. That legislation will allow parents of children in chronically failing public schools to choose a better-performing public school or obtain private tutoring or other academic help for their children.

Department of Interior
Spending: $10.8 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +5.2 percent
Highlights:
Eliminates a National Park Service maintenance backlog by 2006.
Proceeds with oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.
President Bush is seeking a 39 percent increase in a conservation grant program designed to give states an incentive to conserve endangered species and wildlife habitat. He proposes to continue whittling away at a backlog of maintenance projects at national parks, hoping to have the needed work completed by 2006.
At the same time, the administration is continuing its efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for oil exploration, issuing more leases for drilling on the outer continental shelf, and considering more oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
Reform of an Indian trust fund, mismanaged since 1887, would receive an additional $83.6 million, an increase of 36 percent.

Department of Commerce
Spending: $5.7 billion
Percentage change from 2002: +3.2 percent
Highlights:
A 43 percent increase for the Census Bureau.
Reduces overall spending by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but increases spending on several weather-related programs.
Mr. Bush is proposing $177 million for the first of two new buildings for the Census Bureau in Suitland. The administration says the agency's facilities are among the worst in government.
Mr. Bush wants to reduce the number of projects earmarked by Congress through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He contends such projects divert money that could be better spent.

Environmental Protection Agency
Spending: $7.6 billion
Percentage change from 2002: -3.6 percent
Highlights:
$21 million for a new public-private partnership to restore polluted streams and rivers in 20 watersheds.
$200 million to reclaim abandoned industrial sites known as "brownfields" more than double the $98 million Congress appropriated this year.
$1.3 million for Superfund cleanup, about the same as this year.
Half of EPA's proposed budget $3.5 billion would fund grants to states and Indian tribes. The money is for enforcing environmental laws and rules and for projects.

National Endowment for the Arts
The NEA, which has long been at odds with Congress over funding for art deemed by some to be sacrilegious or pornographic, would receive $117 million, $2 million more than this year.

National Endowment for the Humanities
The NEH would receive $127 million, a $3 million increase over fiscal 2002's $124.5 million budget.

Corporation for National Service
The proposed $516 million budget is an $85 million increase over the previous year.

Staff reporters Amy Fagan, Larry Witham and Julia Duin contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide