White House orders agencies to cut their budgets


WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is telling federal agencies to propose cuts of 10 percent or more in their own budgets, but Republicans say additional savings will be needed to truly get the government’s runaway debt problem under control.

White House budget chief Jacob Lew has ordered agency heads to submit budget plans for fiscal 2013 that are at least 5 percent below this year’s levels. He also wants them to propose ways to trim a total of at least 10 percent of their spending that year.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, says deeper savings from expensive benefit programs will be needed to handle swelling red ink. Democrats have resisted paring benefits for recipients of Social Security, Medicare and other benefit programs.