Friday, February 27, 2009

DOE and DOE Budget "Toplines" Released

It's been a busy fifth week for the Obama administration, as President Obama yesterday released his FY2010 budget "toplines," or overall departmental funding levels, and today presented his plan to remove all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by 2010.

Budget numbers for specific programs within DOE and DOD (such as specific budgets for the National Nuclear Security Administration or the Missile Defense Agency) were not released, consistent with the administration's plan to pursue an "exhaustive line-by-line" budgetary review, but the numbers do give us some important information.

Some NoH highlights:

  • Now available on the Office of Management and Budget website is the summary for the FY2010 DOE budget. A victory for arms control advocates, funding for the so-called Reliable Replacement Warhead program will again be zeroed out in the FY2010 budget. (However, the summary also states that "continued work to improve the nuclear stockpile’s safety, security, and reliability [will be] enhanced with more expansive life extension programs," and it is unclear exactly what this will mean.)
  • Also according to the summary, the budget will provide "significant increases in funding for…[the] development of clean energy" and "increased efforts to secure and dispose of nuclear material and invests in innovative science and technology to detect and deter nuclear smuggling and the development of weapons of mass destruction programs." Given that DOE's budget will be flat, some project that this could mean a decrease of funding for NNSA.
  • A highlight as well for missile defense: According to leaked reports, the White House has asked the Pentagon to cut about $2 billion from its missile defense budget for FY2010, which would leave the expected budget for the costly and ineffective system at approximately $8 billion.
Travis Sharp, military policy analyst at the Center, put together a fantastic series of analyses on the DOD numbers, including a recap of the FY09 budget and a summary of the FY2010 toplines.

The rest remains to be seen in the details when the full budget is released in April.

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