Leadership: February 2, 2001

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: President Clinton made a great point of cutting the budget for White House staff by 25% (and then filling the empty desks with staffers borrowed from cabinet departments). New President Bush wants to keep the 25% cut (it would look bad to increase the White House budget by 1/3, and he wants loyal workers for the entire term,  not a rotating series of "detailees"). Congress is pressuring him to simply increase the budget; the cabinet  departments support the idea but would rather send people than have their areas under-staffed at 1600 Pennsylvania  Avenue. The Pentagon is particularly concerned, as it needs a robust staff in the West Wing to push through its new  plans and programs.--Stephen V Cole