OMB Report Unveils Blunt and Indiscriminate Automatic Spending Cuts Named

By Gina Luke, assistant director, Governmental Relations Division

On Friday, September 14, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a 394-page report which contains preliminary details of the automatic cuts to reduce spending across more than 1,200 federal accounts starting Jan. 2, 2013.  The report estimates the reductions would reduce discretionary defense spending by 9.4%, domestic discretionary spending by 8.2% and domestic mandatory spending by 7.6%.  Defense would be cut by $54.67billion, domestic discretionary spending would be reduced by $38billion, Medicare would be cut by $11billion and other mandatory spending programs would be reduced by about $5billion.  If Congress fails to head off the $109billion in overall cuts for 2013 before January 2, appropriations to programs in every federal agency will be cut, including the Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

 While the specific details of the cuts are not yet known, here is a summary of expected cuts at USDA:

  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, $71 million (8.2%)

  •  Food Safety and Inspection Service, $86 million (8.2%)

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture, $39 million (8.2%)

  • Agricultural Research Service, $90 million (8.2%)

  • Agriculture Marketing Service, $7 million (8.2%)

  • Economic Research Service, $6 million (8.2%)

 Cuts to other important programs and agencies include:

  • National Science Foundation, $463 million in its non-defense research activities, (8.2%)
  • National Institutes of Health, $2.5 billion from its more than $30 billion appropriation, (8.2%)
  • National Protection and Programs Directorate which houses the Office of Health Affairs within the Department of Homeland Security, $14 million (8.2%)
  • Food and Drug Administration salaries and expenses, $317 million, (8.2%)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention non-defense, $464 million (8.2%)

Congress will not act on sequestration until after the November elections, leaving a full agenda to tackle in the lame duck session. AVMA is following the sequestration and will continue to update AVMA members.

For more information please contact Gina Luke, assistant director, AVMA Governmental Relations Division.

The AVMA Advocate - News Bites - September 2012