WHITE HOUSE —
President Obama has sent the U.S. Congress his proposed budget of $3.9 trillion for fiscal year 2015 that he hopes will bridge the gap between rich and poor in America.
The president unveiled his spending plan at a bilingual elementary school in Washington, D.C.
“It’s a roadmap for creating jobs with good wages and expanding opportunity for all Americans," said President Obama.
The plan includes more money for early childhood education, tax breaks for the working poor, and increased funding for roads, bridges, and other infrastructure - as well as job training. All this, Obama says, will help put more Americans back to work.
But his proposed budget is likely to run into big challenges in Congress, where a skyrocketing deficit and America's slow recovery from recession are a focus in upcoming elections.
Republican lawmakers want spending cuts and a reduced deficit. They argue that government spending is not the key to reducing poverty. Senator Mitch McConnell:
"Since 2009, the government has spent almost $18 trillion. Yet millions, millions of middle class Americans continue to suffer, whether in the unemployment line, or in jobs that barely allow them to get by. It is time the president realizes that doubling down on the same failed policies is not going to work," said McConnell.
Opposition lawmakers have already declared the administration's defense portion of the budget dead on arrival. It calls for Army troop levels to be reduced to their lowest levels since before World War II.
President Obama's budget battles are just beginning.