Eye on Savings

By Christopher J. Castelli / May 6, 2009 at 5:00 AM

Roughly half of the $17 billion the Obama administration plans to save in its fiscal year 2010 budget request will come through reductions, terminations or other changes to defense programs, according to a senior administration official.

The request includes 121 reductions, terminations or other savings, the top official told reporters Wednesday evening in a background teleconference.

"In total they would save nearly $17 billion in 2010 alone, and more thereafter," the official said. "About half of the money comes from defense, and about half from non-defense. Looked at a different way . . . about $11.5 billion comes from the discretionary part of the budget, and the rest from the mandatory part of the budget."

The bulk of the changes to defense programs have already been announced by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, according to the White House.

Notably, however, the official said there are "a few other items," but declined to be more specific.

"And your final question was the largest item that we had not previously announced -- I think you'll see that in the document that we release tomorrow morning," the official said.