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Obama Faces Democrat Discord On Spending Plans

Republicans are not the only ones in the U. S. Congress squawking about President Barack Obama’s record $3.55 trillion budget plan.

Some of the president’s fellow top Democrats also are upset with certain provisions – including ones dealing with farm subsidies, tax deductions and industrial emissions.

Opposition from Democrats and Republicans is likely to grab headlines again in the weeks ahead as committees get down to complete their work in drafting details.

Democrats, who expanded their hold on Congress in the November election that brought Obama to power, are proving to be a contentious bunch.

“Democrats also have more moderate and more conservatives in their ranks and more issues that will divide them,” said Andrew Taylor, a political science professor at North Carolina State University. “It’s the cost of doing business.”

The budget proposal Obama put forward last month outlines a bold governing agenda, which includes expanding health care, upgrading education, moving the U. S. toward energy independence and combating global warming.

It projects a deficit for this fiscal year of $1.75 trillion, falling to $1.17 trillion next year.

Democrats in agricultural states object to Obama’s call to end direct-payment subsidies to large farmers, which he said could save $1 billion per year.

“It’s more than dead on arrival,” said House Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat.

“I would be opposed to any effort to cut support of the farm safety net,” said Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota.

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