On Monday, when President Barack Obama officially presents the proposed budget he outlined in a speech to House Democrats gathered in Philadelphia for a two-day strategy session, he will continue the partisan spending struggle and run headlong into sequestration limits.
Obama's nearly $4 trillion budget for the next fiscal year will seek $38 billion over the defense spending cap, to $561 billion, and $37 billion over spending caps for non-defense discretionary spending, to $530 billion.
While Obama and many legislators from both parties favor repealing sequestration limits, Real Clear Politics
(RCP) reports, the question remains — even if his "wish list" budget somehow were to gain approval, how would we pay for it?
Obama wants the 7 percent increase in federal spending laid off on higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, which Republicans view as a non-starter.
"Republicans who won control of Congress in November have warned that Obama’s wish list for new spending, even for poll-tested and bipartisan initiatives, will get a chilly reception on Capitol Hill next week," RCP says.
Saying that Obama's budget represents "lurching to the left," Politico
reports, "The budget itself is mostly a political document. Republicans are expected to dismiss it as dead on arrival on Monday, and it is not likely to serve as the basis for any negotiations on fiscal policy later this year."
The budget includes $1 billion in economic aid for Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras as a reaction to the stampede of unaccompanied children from those countries across the southern border last year, RCP reports.
Another battle will involve Republicans' intent to threaten the budget of the Department of Homeland Security, which expires at the end of February, as leverage to force Obama to cut back on his executive action granting protection against deportation to up to five million illegal aliens.
Obama has promised to veto any such attempt.
Even the White House concedes that the budget will not stand as proposed. Spokesman Josh Earnest said, "This is the beginning of a negotiation. We're certainly open to ideas that Republicans have. What the president put forward is what he believes is the best way for us to move forward, and that's what his budget reflects," Reuters
Don Stewart, chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said, "This is not a surprise. Previous budgets submitted by the president have purported to reverse the bipartisan spending limits through tax increases that the Congress, even under Democrats, could never accept," Reuters said.
Cory Fritz, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told Reuters, "Republicans believe there are smarter ways to cut spending than the sequester and have passed legislation to replace it multiple times, only to see the president continue to demand tax hikes.
"Until he (Obama) gets serious about solving our long-term spending problem, it’s hard to take him seriously."
Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told RCP, "If Republicans choose partisanship over progress, the American people must see us fighting for what we believe this country’s future ought to be."
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