Budget

OMB seeks 10 percent cuts for fiscal year 2015

Sylvia Burwell

OMB Director Sylvia Burwell urges agencies to 'focus on programs that work' while cutting costs. (Photo by Sen. Dick Durbin's office.)

Federal agencies are being asked to cut their discretionary budgets for fiscal year 2015 by 10 percent below levels previously requested in the president's 2014 budget submission, according to new budget guidance from Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Burwell.

Agencies are being asked to adopt proposals from the Government Accountability Office's annual report on duplication and overlap in government programs as part of an overall effort to achieve savings. OMB wants to see these savings proposals broken out in a separate section of the budget submission, per the May 29 memorandum.

Per the memo, the Obama administration is preparing for the spending framework of the Budget Control Act, which established the current policy of sequestration, to continue. Burwell wrote: "Your budget submission will provide the President with the options needed to make the hard choices necessary to adhere to the [Budget Control Act's] discretionary funding levels, invest in priority areas, and focus on programs that work."

Agencies are instructed to exclude across-the-board reductions, cuts to mandatory spending, cost-shifting, and the reclassification of discretionary spending to mandatory spending, and new fees from factoring in to their requests. Burwell said that agencies could separately propose such solutions as a way of hitting the targeted 10 percent reductions.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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Reader comments

Mon, Jun 24, 2013

So when security breaks again, can we blame the lack of staffing on OMB? Remember, security is not the mission it only supports it, and it has been cut repeatedly over the last 5 years. You can't meet unfunded mandates with budget cuts. You can't expand missions in 2009 and 2010 without a higher support budget. You need to scale back the missions.

Mon, Jun 3, 2013

I'm just to tired to comment on this stuff. The more I hear from this administration the more tired I get.

Mon, Jun 3, 2013

Once again we have a one size fits all demand for an across the board cuts. How is it we can demand the same sort of budget cuts from agencies that protect lives as we do from agencies that fund trivialities? How is it we can still afford to give military aid to countries that hate us and stab us in the back every chance they get?

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