Obama releases fiscal year 2015 budget request
Updated: 2014-03-05 09:36
Almost a year after the Senate defeated gun control legislation prompted by the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre, Obama proposed spending $182 million to address mass shootings. That includes school safety research, a $22 million boost for the agency that inspects gun shops and funds for technology to prevent unauthorized users from firing a gun.
Obama's budget calls for an extra $15 million to accelerate efforts to fix unfair trade practices and remove barriers to US exports, and he wants another $20 million to expand SelectUSA, the agency charged with drawing more foreign investment to the United States.
He also requested an extra $9 million to smooth reforms to the export licensing procedure for sensitive products, such as defense exports.
IMF voting reform
Obama wants Congress to approve a shift that would move some $63 billion from an International Monetary Fund crisis fund to its general accounts. The White House has asked for this change, which would make good on a 2010 commitment, for the past year.
International food aid
Obama proposed reforms to the nation's largest global food aid program that could allow some 2 million more people to be helped each year. Funding would become more flexible and could be used in part to buy food near crisis areas or to provide cash transfers or vouchers.
The president proposed a smaller boost to the budget of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the primary derivatives regulator, than he sought for the cash-strapped agency last year.
The 2010 Dodd-Frank law charged the CFTC with bringing the vast swaps market under federal oversight. The White House said its latest budget proposal would allow the agency to carry out its new duties but did not explain the more moderate request.
Obama did ask for more money this year for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which has more employees.
Just weeks after passage of a five-year farm bill, Obama proposed cuts to crop insurance subsidies paid to insurance companies and farmers. Modifying the format of the program would yield a projected savings of $14 billion over a decade, the White House said.
Obama's budget calls on Congress to lift the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and index it to inflation going forward. The president already signed an executive order setting that as the minimum for federal contract workers.
The White House budget also proposed a 1 percent pay raise for all federal workers.
Earned income tax credit
Obama called for doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers. The program has bipartisan support because it rewards low-income people who work.
The EITC is one of the most popular anti-poverty programs in the United States, but it is far more beneficial for workers with children than those without.
Overseas tax proposal
The administration wants new limits on overseas tax avoidance by corporations by seeking to prevent them from playing one country's tax rules for certain securities against another's.
At the moment, big corporations must pay the top 35 percent corporate tax rate on foreign profits, but not until those profits are brought into the country. Many lawmakers argue this structure encourages companies to make job-creating investments in foreign countries rather than in the United States.
Obama's budget proposes a total of $12.5 billion for the Internal Revenue Service, up from $11.3 billion allocated in the fiscal 2014 budget.
Obama floated the idea of using cheaper metals to make pennies and nickels. The Treasury Department has been reviewing the coins' production, which has not changed in decades.
Obama has proposed similar reviews in the past but the measures stalled. The budget does not identify potential cost savings, but it lists the rise of electronic commerce as a reason to review the coins' makeup and distribution.