Obama Set to Lay Out Spending Plan

white housePresident Barack Obama and Congress are shifting from short-term budget concerns to debates over the nation's long-term economic future, and everything - from Medicare and Medicaid cuts to tax hikes for the wealthy - is on the table.

Much will be revealed at midweek, when the House and Senate are expected to vote on a budget for the remainder of this fiscal year and Obama unveils his plan to reduce the deficit, in part by scaling back the government's chief health programs for seniors and the poor. The House, too, may vote on Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's spending plan for next year as Democrats readied arguments that it proposed "Draconian" cuts to Americans who need help the most.

Meanwhile, congressional officials were putting to paper a deal struck Friday night that would fund the government through September and cut $38.5 billion in spending. They were operating under a one-week extension of the budget, which passed the House and Senate in the last hour before the government was to begin shutting down.

The House's 348-70 vote to extend funding a few days provided no guarantees for the measure being written Monday that would fund the government through the next six months, but leadership aides said they expected it to pass as early as Wednesday.

Whatever its fate, official Washington raced ahead to frame the upcoming fight over raising the nation's debt limit and the election-year budget as a pair of interconnected battles that would make Friday's nail-biter seem minor.

To be sure, the GOP had succeeded in turning what's usually a fight over spending into a series of battles over spending cuts - a thematic victory for House Republicans swept to power by a populist mandate for smaller, more austere government.

"We've had to bring this president kicking and screaming to the table to cut spending," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., on "Fox News Sunday."

Presidential adviser David Plouffe said Obama has long been committed to finding ways for the nation to spend within its means. He confirmed that the president would unveil more specifics for deficit reduction with a speech Wednesday that would reveal plans to reduce the government's chief health programs for seniors and the poor.

"You're going to have to look at Medicare and Medicaid and see what kind of savings you can get," Obama adviser David Plouffe said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." But he contrasted Obama's approach to the Republicans in familiar terms.

"We can't take a machete," Plouffe said on ABC's "This Week." "We have to take a scalpel, and we're going to have to cut, we're going to have to look carefully."

Away from the talk shows, congressional officials still were analyzing Friday's vote to fund the government through the week.

The late hour of Friday's handshake left lawmakers little time to react. House members of both parties who voted for a few days' funding could not say on Sunday that they'd vote for the plan to fund the government through September.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who voted "yes" Friday to extend funding this week while the final compromise was written, said he was nonetheless undecided on whether he'd vote for the final deal. On ABC's "This Week," he said he didn't think the six-month compromise would pass.

On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., also a "yes" vote on Friday, would not commit to voting for the six-month deal either. Pence praised House Speaker John Boehner for fighting "the good fight."

"It sounds like John Boehner got a good deal, probably not good enough for me to support it, but a good deal nonetheless," Pence said on ABC.

Friday's tally also offered a look at Republicans likely to be the staunchest opponents of any compromises on spending and policy.

Twenty-eight of the "no" votes were cast by Republicans. Sixteen of those are members of the 87-member freshman class. Also voting no: tea party star and possible presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

"This short-term was just 'same ol', same ol" for Washington," one newcomer who voted "no," Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, wrote on his Facebook page.

The $38.5 billion in cuts, Huelskamp wrote, "barely make a dent" in years of trillion-dollar deficits and the nation's $14 trillion debt. Additionally, the measure lacked the policy riders he sought, such as one to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding, though by law no federal money goes to its abortion services.

All told, Huelskamp wrote, the measure "ignores the fundamental reasons I and my fellow freshmen members of Congress were sent to Washington in November of last year."

Plouffe said the president understands the mandate to dramatically cut spending. On talk show after talk show, he pointed to December's bipartisan deal on tax cuts with Friday night's agreement on this year's budget as evidence that both parties can govern together when they want to.

"Compromise is not a dirty word," Plouffe said on ABC.

The president, Plouffe said, would address ways to reduce the deficit and the long-term, $14 trillion debt. He gave few specifics, but he said the president believes taxes should go up on higher-income Americans and cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will be necessary.

Obama's speech will come as the debate shifts to the far more delicate ground of the government budget for next year - when the president and most of Congress are up for re-election.

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What this country needs to do is to give the average American wage earners & their families tax breaks not just the wealthly. The politicians need to pay more taxes & not less like they get now for being "our representatives". They should pay for everything they get jus like the average American worker does.
Evie Glodic

April 18 2011 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They need to walk in the our shoes for about 6 months. And see how the benfits they cutting help. See how they live without them.

April 14 2011 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


April 14 2011 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to many goverment workers, to many congressmen to many senators,and a to highly paid president , lower there paychecks and the deficit will be taken care of

April 13 2011 at 12:24 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

zekandzora: What many of you don't get is our federal reserve was set up by our forefathers as the fourth and separate branch of govt and for good reason. So politics would not get in the way of what needed to be done. And the gop wants congress to control the federal reserve. Not a good idea. Nightly Business Report forecasts that a few more months of gains like we've seen and the federal reserve will start pulling back and interest rates will probably go up this fall. Stop listening to politicians and start listening and reading financial and economists reports.

April 12 2011 at 12:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to inasctg56's comment

reply to zekandzora: And the country prospered the most during the 50's and forward when collective bargaining rights and unions came into the picture and created the middle class.

April 12 2011 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

header says it twice---obama---spending. worthless pos, obama.

April 12 2011 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sue's comment

What has Obama and the dems done? Passed legislation in 2007 that took money away from big oil and steered it toward our auto industry for R&D with mandates for better mileage and now low and behold we have suv's that get 32 mpg as well as waiting lists for chevy volts (almost all US auto workers are back to work), electric batteries being built here (500 at just one plant that pays $14 to $18/hour), and charging stations being made in this country. They eliminated the tax incentives for corporations to go overseas, they eliminated the 5.25% tax rate for those overseas profits, they passed legislation for 100% write offs for improvements made in this country that has demand way up for machinery and equipment, they gave the IRS the resources to go after offshore accounts with over 14,000 coming forward, they passed banking legislation that addresses the problems of the 2002 banking legislation that allowed predatory lending and less govt oversite on wallstreet, they've created 1.3 million jobs in 13 months, manufacturing and export gains for 20 months, and more. What's the gop done? Cut jobs and wages while handing even more over to corporate tax cuts.

And more good news: Retail sales up again, and unemployment claims continue to decline. 1.3 million jobs in 13 months, 20 months of manufacturing and export gains, demand for machinery and equipment up. All those manufacturing paychecks are coming back into communities and creating demand for goods and services just like the economists said.

April 12 2011 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think we are going to learn just how bad off we are when Obama gives his speech on Wednesday. The cuts will start off shallow but will become deeper with each day. We don't know what these cuts will do to our fragile economy. The cuts will cross all levels and even the sacred cows will feel the pain. It will be across the board and yes even the rich will feel the pain. I fear that our economy could very well fail and the question is will we even survive? Our local governments have changed nothing.If the economy fails our paper dollar may not be worth the paper it is printed on. So lets keep fighting among ourselves and blaming each other.

April 12 2011 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dorite54's comment

The Obama administration has taken the advice of our leading economists and it has been working. Cut waste but not job creation. We have seen 20 months of manufacturing and export gains and now another month of retail sale gains. Unemployment declining and ADP - payroll processing for businesses has more positive reports to payroll additions than the govt's reports. This is what is driving wallstreet. And last year Obama asked the secretary of defense to come up with cuts for defense in wasteful spending and the secretary of defense reported this to congress in January. There was over $152 billion (over five years) yet the gop only cut $3 billion in their 2011 budget. Lots more to cut here and the gop uses this to scare people into thinking we won't be safe without those tanks that will never work. It's all about the govt contracts their contributors get.

April 12 2011 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama Set to Lay Out Spending Plan!!!!!!!!! Yep you all make it I get to spend it.

April 12 2011 at 8:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to barackobanana's comment

Yeah right - and the gop didn't do this with leaving $11 trillion in debt and more foreign debt than ALL previous presidents combined. You just keep licking their boots as they continue to cut jobs and wages while handing more over to corporate tax cuts.

April 12 2011 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked the post,"not really"; that God is still part of the government; that may good. Maybe he will fix it; it should be easy for him to do so.

April 12 2011 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Both political parties are OWNED and CONTROLLED by the international banksters and the multinational corporations that orbit the financial oligarchy that is the power behind the international banksters. They control all western developed nations via their power over the money supplies of the individual countries through their central banks who each have money printing monopolies. The unconstitutional, privately owned, for profit corporation that has the power over the U.S.A. is known as The Federal Reserve. The Democrats are essentially the Communist Socialist wing of the one party and the Republicans are essentially the Fascist Socialist wing of the same party. It's really only one party disguised as a "two party system". There is not enough difference between the two worth noting. Both are out to eliminate our national sovereignty, both are working to destroy our God given and Constitutional protected rights, both are devoted to vastly reducing the U.S.A. standard of living, (NAFTA, GAT, CAFTA, The North American Union, open borders for illegal immigrants, exporting all of our nations once great manufacturing base, (the.."good jobs") no effective enforcement of existing immigration laws, tax incentives, cheap loans and out right grants to corporations to off-shore their operations, out sourcing tech jobs, etc, etc, etc.). Both parties are for a world government. Politics at the national level is now just scripted political drama, much like Prof. Wrestling is scripted athletic drama. The purpose is to keep the public convinced that they still have both a voice and a choice. We have neither any longer. It's the old game of ..."Heads I Win and Tails you Lose".........We have been had........ Watch the Google video;....."America: Freedom to Fascism", and learn how badly,.................... WE HAVE BEEN HAD !

April 12 2011 at 8:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to zekandzora's comment

If that's the case whey did Obama and the dems give the IRS the resources to go after offshore accounts early 2009 with over 14,000 coming forward. Also so called offshore corporate headquarters. Why did Obama and the dems eliminate the incentives for corporations to go overseas and eliminated the 5.25% tax rate for those overseas profits that the gop fights to return. Why does the gop want to repeal the new banking legislation that addresses the gop 2002 banking legislation that allowed predatory lending and less oversite on wallstreet and banks. Looks clear to me who is on taxpayers side and american workers. We've had 20 months of manufacturing and export gains, and retail sales are up again. 100% write offs made in this country for improvements has demand for machinery and equipment way up. This is what works - not trickle down corporate tax cuts.

April 12 2011 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply