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Shutdown Averted, Budget Details Remain Unclear

With a last minute budget deal lawmakers avoided government shutdown late Friday night. The final deal’s impact on public health and food safety agencies remains unclear as aides on Capitol Hill work out the details of roughly $38 billion in additional cuts from the federal budget.

“You may not be surprised to hear this, but they’re still sifting through the areas where they are going to make cuts,” Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Sunday on ABC.

According to the New York Times, thousands of budget line items still have to be negotiated.

David Plouffe, senior advisor to President Obama, seemed confident that painful cuts were largely avoided:  “So in this budget deal, the President, Senator Reid, you know we protected medical research, community health centers, kids in Head Start. We were not going to sign off on a deal that cut those things,” Plouffe told ABC. “The President was comfortable with the composition of this deal that, again, there were some tough cuts in there … but in these fiscal times, everyone is going to have to make tough decisions. So it was a historic deal for the American people.”

In the debate over the 2011 budget, House Republicans have targeted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for deep cuts.

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