President Bush unveiled a $3.11 trillion budget Monday for fiscal year 2009 that begins on Oct. 1. The proposal will be sent to the Democratic-led Congress, likely setting the stage for a fresh round of sparring over spending priorities.
Here is what Bush's budget requests:
- The White House forecast deficits of $410 billion in fiscal 2008 and $407 billion in fiscal 2009. That would equal about 2.9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.
- The deficits are more than twice the $163 billion shortfall recorded in 2007 and would approach the $413 billion gap of 2004, which was an all-time high in dollar terms.
- The administration says its goal of a budget surplus by 2012 is still achievable while making Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent.
- Bush proposed a 0.3 percent increase in spending on discretionary programs outside of national security for fiscal 2009.
- The budget would curb spending on federal health entitlements by $208 billion over five years. That includes $178 billion in cost savings from the Medicare health program for the elderly and disabled as well as $17.3 billion in savings from Medicaid, the program for low-income families.
- The administration proposes to spend billions to beef up border security, including $775 million to build more border fences, $442 million to hire and train more border patrol agents and $3 billion for other enforcement activities.
Military, Iraq War Spending:
- The administration requested $515.4 billion for the military for the next fiscal year, not including funds for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. That would mark a 7.5 percent increase over the prior year.
- Bush asked for $70 billion to fund the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. That money would be expected to cover only the first few months of fiscal 2009 and Bush will seek more money for Iraq later. Bush's war funding request for fiscal 2008 totaled $193 billion but Congress has only approved part of that money so far.
- Proposed a $19.7 billion increase in spending through 2013 for the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
- Sought $5.8 billion in spending for fiscal year 2009 for recovery efforts and rebuilding the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
- Requested $6 billion for fiscal year 2009 to fund the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
- Asked for $830 million in foreign aid for Pakistan, $142 million for Lebanon and $75 million for Palestinians.
- The overall budget for the State Department and other international programs would see a 16.5 percent increase.
Spending Cuts, Program Terminations
- Proposed terminating programs totaling $7.1 billion and reducing others by $11 billion.
- Sought cutting by 22 percent the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to $2 billion.
- Urged reducing funds for Amtrak passenger rail service by almost 34 percent to $900 million.