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Highlights

GAO reviewed the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) fiscal year (FY) 1996 appropriation and FY 1997 budget request, focusing on whether prior-year unobligated funds could be rescinded and the USDA FY 1997 budget reduced. GAO noted that: (1) USDA has approximately $1.35 billion in potential rescissions for FY 1996 and $2.7 billion in potential reductions for FY 1997; (2) the potential rescissions and reductions are based on contingency funds and unobligated balances that have not been used, programs funded in excess of USDA requirements, and USDA Conservation Reserve Program ceilings; (3) USDA can achieve additional savings by terminating some programs or funding them through user fees; and (4) USDA would save a total of $1.37 billion in potential rescissions for FY 1996, and $2.83 billion in potential reductions for FY 1997.

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