WASHINGTON -- President Clinton is preparing to announce about $15 billion in additional budget cuts, ranging from an early retirement "buyout" offer for federal employees to a politically risky plan to close more than 1,000 agricultural field offices, senior White House officials said yesterday.
The new round of budget reductions, to be unveiled the last week of October, stems from a pledge the president made in August to moderate Democrats that he would find more spending cuts to offset the tax increases in his economic program, sources said.
To make good on his promise, Mr. Clinton will rely almost exclusively on potential savings highlighted by the White House "reinventing government" report prepared by Vice President Al Gore, officials said.
Virtually all of the savings from the proposed cuts, which would be spread over five years, would go for deficit reduction. This means that the administration could exceed the deficit reduction targets it forecast in the budget approved by Congress.
Mr. Clinton met with senior advisers at the White House yesterday to decide which proposals from the Gore task force should be included in the package to be sent to Congress late next week or the week after. Officials said that the cuts will "touch every department" in the government. "Everyone will be affected," one senior White House official said.
The White House plans to push for quick congressional action this fall on the budget cuts, and is expected to work closely on the effort with a group of moderate Democrats who agreed to vote for Mr. Clinton's budget only after winning his promise that he would seek further savings this year.