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Obama rallies Democrats to his budget

But they're worried about massive deficit estimates, so even some lawmakers in his own party have their whittling knives out.

President Obama, accompanied by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, (D) of Minn. (left) and others, arrives on Capitol Hill Wednesday to discuss his budget with senators.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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As House and Senate budget panels marked up FY 2010 budget resolutions today, President Obama headed up to Capitol Hill to rally support for his own $3.66 trillion budget.

"It went great!" the president said, after a closed meeting with Senate Democrats today. The president also met privately with House Democrats.

"It was vintage Obama," added Senate majority leader Harry Reid, after the mid-day meeting. "He made us all feel content, inspired by where we need to go."

But behind the upbeat tone, congressional leaders are working out some tough issues with the new president, and none of it looks easy.

Overall, Democrats are broadly in support of the president's budget priorities. These include: key investments in education, health care, and clean energy, as well as a commitment to cutting the deficit in half.

Deficit projections add a sobering note

But new deficit projections last week by the independent Congressional Budget Office put the White House on the defensive -- and prompted congressional budget leaders to drop elements of the president's budget. The new CBO numbers projected $9.3 trillion in federal budget deficits over the next 10 years -- $2.3 trillion more than the White House had estimated. Unlike the president, congressional leaders opted to present five-year budget outlooks.


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