Obama Budget Losers: Justice Dept., Small Business Administration, Corps of Engineers

Thursday, March 06, 2014
(photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)

President Barack Obama has proposed spending nearly $4 trillion during fiscal year 2015, and while that is indeed a tremendous amount of money, the bounty of federal tax dollars will still leave some agencies griping over the possibility of substantial budget cuts.


Among all cabinet-level departments, Justice will take the biggest hit. Its 2015 budget request is nearly 40% lower than what the department received in the current fiscal year.


Justice officials did their best to put a positive spin on the White House plan, emphasizing that more money would go into criminal justice reform next year. However, that total—$173 million—represents only a small fraction of the department’s total budget proposal of $27.4 billion.


The biggest winners in the proposed Justice budget would be the FBI, tagged for $9 billion, and the Bureau of Prisons, for which is earmarked $8.4 billion. Salaries for a staff of lawyers to manage the department’s caseload are also reported to be quite steep.


The Justice Department will not be the only agency staring at a double-digit budget chop next year if the budget passes.


The Small Business Administration would suffer a 22% loss in funding, while the Army Corps of Engineers’ cut would be 18% if Obama’s budget succeeds.


Over at the Pentagon, the defense budget will remain the same from 2014 to 2015. Conservatives have made a lot of noise since Obama unveiled his plan (pdf), claiming the president was out to gut funding for the U.S. military.


Apparently, not giving the Defense Department a raise in tough fiscal times is just as bad as actually reducing its budget, which isn’t happening.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Fiscal 2015 Budget Winners and Losers (by Kellie Lunney and Chanin Knight, Government Executive)

Obama Seeks Criminal Justice Boost In Tight Spending Year (by Ted Gest, Crime Report)

Fiscal Year 2015 Budget of the U.S. Government (Executive Office of the President of the United States) (pdf)

So-Called Budget Cuts include Non-Existent “Czars” and an Unused Reserve Fund (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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