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Washington prepares for budget cuts, culture changes

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Washington prepares for budget cuts, culture changesBy Dan Merica, CNN Story highlightsTrump's advisers say the cuts are meant to get a handle on the federal deficitIt's not yet entirely clear what Trump will propose to cut(CNN)Government agencies across Washington are preparing for what some say could be debilitating cuts to their budgets, grappling with that fact that President Donald Trump intends to make good on his campaign promise to slash the federal budget.Trump's advisers say the cuts are meant to get a handle on the federal deficit, which grew under President Barack Obama and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, could top $1 trillion by 2025 without spending cuts or revenue increases.It's not yet entirely clear what Trump will propose to cut. The President is expected to release his full budget proposal in the coming weeks, but his administration has rolled out budget priorities that have many in Washington contemplating how agencies will get by with less.Although Trump made clear one place he wants to beef up spending is at the Pentagon. He will fund a $54 billion infusion of new defense spending with cuts elsewhere in the government.The White House plan will have to be run by Congress, which controls the nation's purse strings, but some specifics are already becoming clear at government agencies.Here's some of what we know:Coast GuardTrump's budget proposal will include a $1.3 billion cut to the US Coast Guard, congressional sources told CNN Tuesday, but those monies would go to increase funding for border security and not budget savings. And, since the cuts would be applied to an operating budget of about $9 billion, GOP budget hawks on the Hill have been quick to slam them as too deep a reduction to the military branch's funding.Foreign aid and the State DepartmentThe Trump administration, led by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, has made clear that the State Department will experience wholesale budget cuts in their first budget, with a target squarely on foreign aid sent abroad by the United States.Multiple Trump administration officials have also made clear that the foreign aid -- which makes up roughly 1% of the federal budget -- will be cut significantly under the new plan.While cutting foreign aid has long been a target for conservatives, those proposed cuts have drawn out critics from both sides of the aisle. Because foreign aid includes a host of programs meant to bolster national security, Republican senators and retired military leaders have urged the Trump administration to stop considering foreign aid cuts.Retired Gen. David Petraeus, a former CIA director; retired Adm. James Stavridis, the former NATO supreme allied commander and 118 other three- and four-star generals wrote a letter earlier this month urging the Trump administration to keep funding foreign aid."The State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps and other development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm's way," the generals wrote.That advice, though, runs counter to much of what Trump said during the 2016 campaign, where he rallied crowds of thousands with his promises to slash government spending and tighten the federal government's belt, much like American families have had to do."I will end the wasteful government spending and hold the bureaucrats accountable," Trump said in Florida days before the election in 2016. "When I am president, the tide of big government will no longer threaten to wash away our dreams, our jobs and our freedoms."Throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump put "bloated bureaucracy" and "wasteful spending" in the same category as his border wall along the US-Mexico border and the need to take the fight to ISIS.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Budget cuts appear to be in every proposal coming from the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress -- not just in formal budget measures.For example: The Republican plan to repeal Obamacare -- former President Barack Obama's sweeping health care law -- includes a provision to cut around $1 billion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cuts would come primarily from the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the agencies' budget."My sense is (Republicans) in general support public health and disease surveillance but they are committed to repealing this fund mostly because it's part of the Affordable Care Act," Emily Holubowich, executive director of the Coalition for Health Funding, told CNN.Republicans argue the cuts are meant to curb wasteful spending and that the program has been spent on Zumba classes and massage sessions. But the CDC says the funding is used to help states combat preventable diseases and calamities like childhood lead poisoning.Environmental Protection Agency

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