WASHINGTON -- Army operations and maintenance would lose nearly $7 billion next year, and the Navy more than $4 billion under a looming series of automatic cuts in federal spending. Educational achievement and special education programs would be shaved by $2.3 billion. Hospital insurance would fall $5.6 billion.
And, particularly relevant at a moment that world attention is focused on the continuing attacks on U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, diplomatic programs and embassy security would lose $1.2 billion.
These are part of the findings by the White House in a 394-page report that was delivered Friday to Congress, detailing line by line what will happen next year if Washington fails to act to head off about $100 billion in military and domestic spending cuts scheduled to begin Jan. 2.
The Obama administration had been reluctant to specify the impact of sequestration, as the automatic, across-the-board spending reduction is called. But once forced to do so by Congress, the White House budget office did not scrimp on the details.
"As the administration has made clear, no amount of planning can mitigate the effect of these cuts. Sequestration is a blunt and indiscriminate instrument. It is not the responsible way for our nation to achieve deficit reduction," the report concludes.
The Budget Control Act of July 2011 established automatic cuts as the bludgeon that was supposed to force a bipartisan committee to come to an
Lawmakers are still hopeful that Congress and the White House can come up with a way to avoid the cuts, but no action will come before the November elections, with the outcome of the voting having some effect on what any agreement would look like.
For now, the two parties remain at odds, with each trying to blame the other for the automatic cuts about to come.
Under the terms of those cuts, most military programs face a 9.4 percent cut, while most domestic programs would be sliced by 8.2 percent. Medicare would be trimmed by 2 percent, while other social programs -- not counting Social Security -- would be sliced as much as 10 percent.
White House officials said cuts to Medicare would fall on health care providers, not beneficiaries. But the impact on health care professionals could affect the elderly if deep cuts prompt doctors and hospitals to shun Medicare patients.
Total payments to hospitals through Medicare would be cut by more than $5.8 billion next year, while prescription drug benefits would be trimmed by $591 million.
The White House report details how $108 billion in cuts would be meted out next year, the start of what would be a decade's worth of cuts on that scale.
Congressional Republicans initially sought a detailed accounting of the cost of the planned defense cuts, which the White House resisted. Then Democrats joined in, pushing to see the impact on domestic programs as well, and Congress ultimately passed legislation almost unanimously demanding a written report.
As late as Friday, congressional aides were skeptical that the White House would produce the details that lawmakers had wanted. And the White House did not get to the level of precision sought by some lawmakers, down to the effect on individual weapons programs or military bases.