April 11th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
April 11th, 2011
02:15 PM ET

Obama, Congress prepare for next round of budget fights

Alan Silverleib

Washington (CNN) - Partisan warfare over taxes and spending is set to take center stage again in Washington this week, as Congress takes up a deal covering the budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year and President Barack Obama unveils his long-awaited deficit reduction plan.

House Republicans are also expected to push for a vote by Friday on their budget proposal for the next fiscal year. That plan, which cuts roughly $6 trillion in spending over the next decade while radically overhauling Medicare and Medicaid, is fiercely opposed by Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The outcome of the fight promises to have a major impact not only on the 2012 presidential race but on the size and scope of the federal government for years to come.

Obama and congressional Republicans have "very different visions over what the role of the federal government should be in our society," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Monday morning on Fox News. But "it's our obligation to sit down and ... find a way to work together."

Details of the deal covering the rest of fiscal year 2011, which ends September 30, are to be released Monday night.

The package, which was finalized late Friday in order to avoid a partial government shutdown, cuts spending by a total of $38.5 billion. It has been called insufficient by some Tea Party conservatives and labeled extreme in liberal quarters.

The House is scheduled to vote on the deal Wednesday, with the Senate following suit shortly thereafter.

Adding to the uproar: a coming debate over the need to raise the federal government's debt limit. Washington is rapidly nearing the roughly $14.29 trillion ceiling and is expected to exceed the cap by mid-May. Although the Federal Reserve can take some steps to delay the need to raise the cap until July, a failure to do so could ultimately lead to a default.

A default could devastate the economy, leading to a crashing dollar and skyrocketing interest rates, among other things.

Republicans are using the vote on the debt ceiling to demand additional spending reductions.

Full story

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Alan Silverleib
April 11th, 2011
01:00 PM ET

CNN Poll: Majority support deal to avert government shutdown

CNN Political Unit

Washington (CNN) – Who won last week's showdown over the federal budget and the government shutdown-that-wasn't?

It looks like the public gives the Democrats more credit for the deal than the Republicans, but it's nothing like the slam-dunk that Bill Clinton scored during the 1995 government shutdown, and it certainly has not been reflected in President Barack Obama's overall approval rating, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday indicates that the budget agreement that prevented a government shutdown is popular, with Americans supporting it by a 58 to 38 percent margin. But there's a partisan divide, with two-thirds of Democrats and a majority of independent voters backing the deal, and Republicans divided.

By a 48 to 35 percent margin, the public thinks Democrats are more responsible than the GOP for the late Friday night agreement, which prevented a shutdown of some government services and offices. And according to the survey, which was conducted Saturday and Sunday, 54 percent say they approve of how the president handled the budget negotiations, compared to only 44 percent who approve of how the Republican leaders in Congress handled themselves last week.

But this doesn't mean Obama gets a political boost from the deal.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
April 11th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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