With President Obama’s May 7 release of his detailed budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, the tussle over 2010 federal funding will intensify. Taking a tougher line on spending, Obama highlighted a plan to terminate or trim 121 programs, aiming to save $16.7 billion. Cuts would include about $1.5 billion from construction accounts. The Democratic Congress is likely to defer to Obama’s first budget request, but only to a degree. Lawmakers are not expected to rubber-stamp every line.
Jeffrey D. Shoaf, Associated General Contractors’ senior executive director for government affairs, says Democrats will work more closely with Obama than they did with President Bush, but he believes the Obama administration is “in for a fight on the appropriations bills.” Shoaf says legislators “are in charge of the purse strings and often like for that to be known.”