Stick to the Script

By Thomas Duffy / February 20, 2009 at 5:00 AM

In the weeks since President Barack Obama took the oath of office, his administration has been almost solely focused on rescuing the U.S. economy. But putting together a federal budget for fiscal year 2010 is near the top of the priority list, too.

On Feb. 26 the White House will release a 2010 budget overview, with the full budget request slated for release in April.

According to a memo sent out yesterday by Peter Orszag, the head of the White House budget office, we'll have to wait until April for real details on what the Defense Department's spending plans will look like in 2010 -- no one in the administration will be allowed to go any further than what's handed out next week. Orszag told the government's department and agency heads:

In the coming weeks, you and your representatives will be testifying before Congressional committees in support of the Administration's FY 2010 Budget and participating in public events focused on budget initiatives. For the period between the February 26 release of the Administration's FY 2010 Budget Overview and the April release of the full FY 2010 President's Budget, your testimony and public disclosures should be limited to the information contained in the Budget Overview. The agency summaries in the Overview provide highlights of the agency budget; the Overview also describes certain Administration initiatives and other proposals. You should not make commitments about specific programs not specifically mentioned in the Overview or address account level details until the release of the full Budget in April.

Stay tuned right here, though, because we will do our best to get you the details the White House is hanging on to until April.