OMB Directs Agencies to Plan Further Cuts

On August 17th, OMB Director Jacob Lew sent a memo to the heads of all Federal Departments and Agencies advising that they begin now to find additional budgetary cost savings in FY 13.  Specifically, the memo states, “Unless your agency has been given explicit direction otherwise by OMB, your overall agency request for 2013 should be at least 5 percent below your 2011 enacted discretionary appropriation.”  The memo goes on to say that FY 13 budget submissions should also “…identify additional discretionary funding reductions that would bring your request to a level that is at least 10 percent below your 2011 enacted discretionary appropriation.”  Further, none of the proposed reductions are to come from across-the-board reductions, enactment of new user fees to serve as an offset to existing spending, or budgetary reclassification of spending from discretionary to mandatory categories.

Such direction does not bode well for EPA since it has been subject to severe funding cuts in Congressional FY 12 appropriations proposals.  Finding additional areas to trim will be a daunting task for the Agency.  You may read and/or download Director Lew’s memo from the OMB web page at: