President proposes FY 2012 budget with spending reductions.

Author:Goolsby, Larry
Position:Washington update

As the current fiscal year's budget battle raged on in the House and Senate, the Obama Administration released, on Feb. 14, its FY 2012 budget proposal, which totals $3.73 trillion but is designed to reduce the deficit by more than $1 trillion over a decade. It would reduce or eliminate more than 200 federal programs next year, and overall spending would be 2.7 percent lower than the administration's FY 2011 budget plan. The 2012 proposal sets $1.12 trillion in discretionary spending, which includes a five-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending. The amount is an increase of 2.8 percent over FY 2010 discretionary spending. The budget includes increases in some program areas such as child welfare and child care, and the Social Services Block Grant remains at prior levels; however, several other human service programs would undergo cuts, including the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Services Block Grant, both of which would be reduced about 50 percent.

In the area of health, the administration would fund Medicare at $562 billion, a decrease of $12 billion from 2010. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration would be funded at $3 billion; the Health Resources and Services Administration's 2012 proposed funding would be $7.2 billion. The budget funds Medicaid spending at about $270 billion, about a $7 billion decrease over last year. Child welfare spending would include a new $250 million initiative for states to improve children's outcomes in a variety of key areas such as safety and permanency. The budget also calls for a $13 million increase to the Adoption Opportunities Program and a $10 million increase to the Adoption Incentives Program. The budget would also provide an additional $1.3 billion for states to support approximately 1.7 million children with child care subsidies. In addition, it also includes $350 million for an Early Learning Challenge Fund for states to improve program quality and strengthen early learning.

The president's budget estimates roughly $3.14 billion in obligations for child support enforcement administrative costs for FY 2012, with $3.9 billion included in the FY 2011 continuing resolution. This is down from the $4.48 billion in actual spending in 2010. Under legislative proposals, the president is requesting an additional $5 million for CSE administrative costs and an additional $300 million for Child Support incentive payments. For the Temporary Assistance...

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