Obama budget cuts bring Dem protests

May 8, 2009 at 8:52 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's proposal to cut $17 billion from the budget hurts worthy programs, some congressional Democrats say.

Although the cuts amount to only 0.5 percent of his $3.4 trillion U.S. budget, Obama's moves to cut 121 programs elicited howls of protests from such fellow Democrats as Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Reps. Mike Ross of Arkansas and Maurice Hinchey of New York, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Feinstein objected to Obama's move to end a $400 million program that reimburses states for jailing illegal immigrants. Ross protested cuts to agricultural programs and Hinchey decried plans to drop a new presidential helicopter, which would be made in his district.

Obama says he doesn't need or want a new helicopter, which is to be made in a $835 million program and supports 800 jobs in Hinchey's district, the Post said.

The protests are likely only a preview of many more Democratic objections to come next year when Obama moves to slice the $1.2 trillion U.S. budget deficit, and presents a real test for his ability to lead as president, the newspaper said.

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