(Washington Times) – With excruciating detail, the White House on Friday laid out exactly where it will have to cut $109 billion from federal spending in January, including $11.1 billion from Medicare and $54.7 billion from defense spending.
The defense cuts include more than $15 billion from the Army, Navy and Air Force operations and maintenance accounts.
â€œThe report leaves no question that the sequestration would be deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments, and core government functions,â€ the White House said in the report.
Everything from fencing and technology along the U.S.-Mexico border to the governmentâ€™s own internal watchdogs to local environmental programs are also on the chopping block.
The cuts fall particularly heavy on the federal civilian workforce, where staffing levels and salaries would be docked more than 8 percent almost across the board.
Also facing slashes are the National Institutes of Health, which would see a $2.5 billion cut, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would have to trim $464 million, according to the 394-page report.
The cuts are due under the terms of last yearâ€™s debt deal, which set up the automatic â€œsequestersâ€ in exchange for granting the administration the borrowing authority to go deeper into debt. Last yearâ€™s deficit super committee was supposed to come up with replacements for the sequesters, but the bipartisan committee failed, leaving the automatic cuts in place. They take effect Jan. 2.
In the report, the White Houseâ€™s budget office took pains to say it didnâ€™t have any discretion, and that it didnâ€™t support the cuts.
â€œThe percentage cuts in this report, and the identification of exempt and non-exempt accounts, reflect the requirements of the laws that the administration is applying,â€ the report said. â€œWith the single exception of military personnel accounts, the administration cannot choose which pro- grams to exempt, or what percentage cuts to apply.â€
Administration officials said the numbers are preliminary, and will be updated based on 2013 spending levels that Congress is working on this month.
The White House specifically exempted military personnel, but other parts of the Pentagon were not, and will see a nearly 10 percent cut. The Army is slated to lose nearly $7 billion in operations and maintenance funding, and the Navy and Air Force will lose another $4.3 billion each in operations money.
Meanwhile Howard University, an historically black institution in the District of Columbia, would lose $19 million.
Fridayâ€™s report was required under a law Congress passed over the summer.