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Republicans refuse to hear President Obama’s final budget proposal

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U.S. President Barack Obama proposed a $4.1 trillion spending plan for fiscal year 2017 on Tuesday in a final White House budget that laid out his priorities for fighting Islamic State, raising taxes on wealthy Americans and helping the poor.

The budget for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1 is largely a political document and is unlikely to be passed by the Republican-controlled Congress.

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But it gives the Democratic president, who leaves office in January, a chance to make a last pitch for funding on issues such as education, criminal justice reform and job creation while taking credit for U.S. economic strides during his tenure.

The spending proposal stayed within the confines of an agreement reached between the White House and Congress last year that lifted mandatory “sequestration” cuts on both defense and domestic spending.

It proposes lifting the limits entirely from 2018.

“My budget makes critical investments while adhering to the bipartisan budget agreement I signed into law last fall,” Obama wrote in the budget document. “It also drives down deficits and maintains our fiscal progress through smart savings from health care, immigration, and tax reforms.”

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The proposed budget envisions a deficit of $503 billion in fiscal 2017 after a $616 billion budget gap in the current fiscal year ending on Sept. 30.

It seeks to cut deficits by $2.9 trillion over 10 years largely through shrunken tax breaks for wealthy earners, new savings in Medicare healthcare, and assumptions that adoption of its policies would boost economic growth.

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Over 10 years, deficits would average 2.5 percent of U.S. economic output, compared to about 4.0 percent in the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate, which is based on current laws.

“That document … will be President Obama’s final vision of how he lays out the fiscal future for the country,” said Joel Friedman, vice president for federal fiscal policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“I don’t think anyone expects it to be enacted this year. Republicans aren’t going to embrace it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a useful document.”

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Congress can advance elements of the budget without endorsing the entire proposal.

Obama is slated to meet with his national security team to discuss cyber security around 11:00 ET and is likely to address reporters at the close of the meeting. The budget seeks $19 billion for cyber security across the U.S. government.

Obama and Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan agree on some anti-poverty policies, but the general differences between the two parties are vast, particularly in a presidential election year.

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“The president’s final budget continues his focus on new spending proposals instead of confronting our country’s massive overspending and skyrocketing $19 trillion in debt,” said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi.

Republican lawmakers have taken the unusual step of not inviting White House budget director Shaun Donovan to brief about the proposal.

“Maybe they are taking the Donald Trump approach to debates about the budget. They are just not going to show up,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters last week, referring to the Republican presidential front-runner’s decision to skip a debate with his counterparts ahead of the nominating contest in Iowa.

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The budget requests more than $11 billion for the Departments of Defense and State to fight Islamic State militants and stabilize Syria.

It calls for $152 billion in research and development, an increase of 4 percent over fiscal year 2016, including funding for an effort to cure cancer, which is spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan, and Julia Edwards; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Internet goes wild over ‘obviously drunk’ Larry Kudlow on Fox News: ‘He’s lying while slurring his words’

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Speculation was rampant on Sunday that White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow was drunk on Fox News.

"There is no economic recession in sight," Kudlow insisted to Fox News Sunday host Dana Perino.

Twitter, however, was buzzing about Kudlow's speech patterns instead of his questionable economic optimism.

"Pretty sure Larry Kudlow is drunk on my TV right now... And he is lying while slurring his words," one Twitter user noted.

"Kudlow is on fox news Sunday right now and from my 30 yrs of tending bar, I gotta say this guy appears drunk," another user observed.

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Foreign diplomats preparing for the worst — another Trump win in 2020: ‘People don’t want to be stupid twice’

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According to a report from Politico, foreign diplomats are not so sure Donald Trump will be beaten in the 2020 election and are making contingency plans for how they will deal with him should he be re-elected.

The report notes that the win by the New York businessman in 2016 caught foreign governments by surprise with former French ambassador to the United States, Gerard Araud admitting, "In 2016, nobody believed he was going to be elected. People don’t want to be stupid twice.”

According to Politico, "There’s no known scientific survey on the topic — few foreign officials would participate in one given diplomatic norms that preclude them from commenting on another country's internal politics. But none who talked to POLITICO were willing to say that Trump will lose. Instead, they pointed to three key advantages for Trump: He’s the incumbent, the U.S. economy is strong and the Democrats have no definitive front-runner to challenge him."

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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