WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House budget office is recalculating how to apply automatic spending cuts for a handful of agencies, freeing up almost $4 billion for the Pentagon and another $1 billion or so for homeland security and NASA. Capitol Hill aides familiar with the White House changes say the administration has identified almost $5 billion in cuts that can be restored under its reading of the arcane budget rules governing the across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration.
The calculations would restore $5 billion of the scheduled $85 billion in automatic sequestration cuts. At issue are accounts that were cut more deeply under a full-year funding bill enacted in March than they would have been under the across-the-board cuts. The aides required anonymity because they weren't allowed to discuss a private briefing publicly.