Obama, Congress Return to Funding Fights
By Ben Pershing
President Obama is back in town from globetrotting, and Congress returns today from a two week recess, just in time for everyone to get together and do what Washington does best -- fight about money.
Obama convenes his first (almost) full Cabinet meeting this morning, and will ask everyone present to find a combined $100 million to cut in the next 90 days. Obama will come to the meeting armed with examples of savings federal agencies have already begun to implement. For the record, that $100 million would be approximately .00003 percent of Obama's $3.5 trillion budget plan, versions of which the House and Senate will work to reconcile in the next few weeks. (Also for the record, The Rundown recommends against doing math this early in the morning.)
On tap for Congress: More vetting of Obama's supplemental spending request for Iraq and Afghanistan, credit card reform and ongoing negotiations on a measure that would allow bankruptcy judges to alter the terms of home mortgages. Initial work is also underway on some of Obama's biggest priorities -- health care, climate change and an overhaul of the financial regulatory system. Every one of those initiatives will require an awful lot of money (certainly more than the $100 million Obama is asking for this morning). But nearly all of the administration's revenue-raising proposals have hit a stiff wall of resistance on Capitol Hill.
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Posted at 8:36 AM ET on Apr 20, 2009
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