President Obama says he is confident that the House Democratic caucus will hold firm in support of his budget proposal but that he expects some concessions to be made. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats, it was reported this morning, have announced some demands for the budget, which include a cap on non-defense discretionary spending and that future programs be deficit neutral. In a call-in interview with talk radio host Ed Schultz today, Obama said," We have great confidence in the Democratic caucus holding together on the budget. It's not gonna be 100 percent of what I want, but all of us are going to have to make adjustments."
The 51 Blue Dogs probably can't defeat the budget, but it's the arena in which Obama wants to advance health care reform and cap and trade--the two biggest domestic policy initiatives for his first term in office. As a result, he'd likely prefer to have his party united behind it.