Prospects For Bipartisan Budget Deal Seen As Dim

As President Barack Obama prepares to release his budget proposal Tuesday, he is expected to reverse course on efforts to curb spending on Social Security. House Republicans, meanwhile, plan to release a proposal that would make sweeping changes to antipoverty programs, including Medicaid.

The Associated Press: Big Or Small, Spending-Cut Efforts Hit Roadblocks
Indeed, little-noticed but telling events over the past few weeks show lawmakers and the White House are backsliding on spending cuts. President Barack Obama, who's scheduled to release his own federal budget Tuesday, reversed course on a deeply contentious proposal that would curb cost-of-living increases in Social Security. Republicans criticized Obama for backing down but then blasted the administration as it announced it was implementing a new round of Medicare cuts that Congress included in the health care overhaul four years ago (Babington and Taylor, 3/3).

The Washington Post: House GOP Budget Will Focus On Reforming Welfare, Overhauling Social Programs
As a direct counter to President Obama's recent emphasis on the gap between rich and poor, the upcoming House Republican budget will focus on welfare reform and recommend a sweeping overhaul of social programs, including Head Start and Medicaid. The push, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, returns the GOP's attention to a policy front that animated the party in the 1990s and signals Republicans' desire to expand their pitch to voters ahead of this year's midterm elections. This new effort comes after the party spent months fixated on combating the federal health-care law and engaged in intraparty squabbles over fiscal strategy (Costa, 3/2).

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