The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

April 10, 2013

Ag, education cuts, energy boosted: Agency by agency guide to Obama's 2014 budget

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

The bulk of the USDA budget is dollars for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, which are expected to cost around $80 billion in the 2014 budget year. Costs for the program have more than doubled during Obama's presidency, driven by an ailing economy and an expansion of the benefit in 2009. Conservatives have called for cutting or overhauling food stamps, but the budget says the Obama administration strongly supports the current program "at a time of continued need."

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Agency: Commerce

Total Spending: $11.7 billion

Percentage Change from 2013: 34.3 percent increase

Discretionary Spending: $8.6 billion

Mandatory Spending: $3.1billion

Highlights: Obama wants to boost investments in research and development and export promotion in hopes of spurring economic growth.

The president is asking for $1 billion to set up a nationwide network of manufacturing innovation institutes to develop cutting-edge technologies to make U.S. manufacturing firms more competitive.

Obama's budget request also calls for $754 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technologies laboratories aimed at making American manufacturers more competitive in the global marketplace. The money is for promoting advances in areas such as cyber security, manufacturing, communications and disaster resilience.

The president also wants $113 million to create the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Fund. The money would go to projects such as industrial parks and industry academic centers to promote long-term economic growth.

Obama's budget would also boost funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including its weather satellite programs.

The president is seeking $21 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program, which is a public-private partnership aimed at finding answers to manufacturing challenges that U.S. businesses face.

Obama also is requesting $520 million for the International Trade Administration.

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Agency: Education Department

Total Spending: $56.7 billion

Percentage Change from 2013: 10.8 percent decrease

Discretionary Spending: $71.2 billion

Mandatory Spending: $0

Highlights: Obama's proposed education budget calls for expanded programs for young people before they reach kindergarten and offered Congress two options to consider: a $750 million preschool program for 4-year-old students from four-member families earning $47,100 or less; or a more expansive $2 billion option that would provide universal access to pre-school programs for low- and moderate-income families, with incentives for states to offer programs for all families. The proposal requires that up to 5 percent of those funds be used to measure student achievement and collect data.

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