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A Look at Obama's 2011 Budget for Government Agencies

A Look at Obama's 2011 Budget for Government Agencies

Copies of President Barack Obama's budget are delivered to the Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Associated Press/Courtesy Yellowbrix

February 03, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s multi-trillion-dollar budget would boost spending for several government agencies while slashing the account for others. Here is an agency-by-agency glance:


Agency: Agriculture

Spending: $148.6 billion

Percentage change from 2010: 9.7 percent increase

Mandatory Spending: $122.8 billion

Highlights: Obama’s proposed budget includes hundreds of millions of dollars in increased spending to help feed the poor while also limiting government handouts to wealthy farmers.

The budget would provide $8.1 billion for nutrition programs, a $400 million increase from the president’s 2010 budget. It would allocate $10 billion over 10 years to improve access to USDA food programs, establishing higher nutrition standards at schools and aiming to reduce childhood hunger.

The budget also would increase government spending on food stamps, a jump of $11 million to a proposed $36 million. That includes an extension for an additional year of benefits under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which temporarily eliminated food stamp time limits for certain low-income adults.

Obama wants to limit the amount of money that wealthy farmers can receive from the government. Direct payments to farmers would be reduced from $40,000 per person per year to $30,000. Direct payments are payments to farmers based on historical production.

The budget also proposes limiting direct payments to farmers who make $500,000 or less in farm income; the limit is currently $750,000 or less.

Also in Obama’s agriculture proposal:

- $429 million for research grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

- $418 million in loans and grants for expanding rural broadband access.

- $1.2 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help farmers comply with regulatory requirements and protect natural resources, a 67 percent increase in funding over 2010.

-Henry C. Jackson


Agency: Commerce

Spending: $9.1 billion

Percentage change from 2010: 34.4 percent decrease

Mandatory Spending: $180 million

Highlights: The department’s discretionary budget would decline from $13.8 billion in 2010 to $8.9 billion in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. Much of the proposed decrease comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, which received a huge spending increase last year to hire about a half million people and conduct the 2010 census.

The proposed Commerce budget would provide $1.3 billion to process, tabulate and release 2010 census data. Funds for the census are closely watched by Congress because the count determines government pay-outs to states and cities and the number of congressional seats in each state. Democrats typically seek more funds to enable accurate counts for poor and minority communities who have been undercounted in the past.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the government’s weather forecasting and conducts climate and ocean research, would get more money in the plan. The proposal would provide NOAA with more than $2 billion – the equivalent of the worldwide box office take of the blockbuster film “Avatar” – for weather satellites, measurements of sea level and other climate data.

The proposed budget would eliminate a grant program created in 2004 for manufacturers of worsted wool fabric. The department said wool manufacturers had enough time to adjust to changes in the trade law. It would also ax funding for a program that supports public television stations’ conversion to digital broadcasting. The department said the required conversion efforts have been completed and money for remaining digital conversion would be available from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

-Ken Thomas

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