News cameras get a look as President Barack Obama's new $4 trillion budget plan is distributed by the Senate Budget Committee as it arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, early Monday, Feb. 02, 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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President Barack Obama proposed Monday a $3.99 trillion budget that drew scorn from Republicans and set up battles over tax reform, infrastructure spending, and the quest to prove which party best represents the middle class.The budget foresees a $474 billion deficit, which is 2.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, a level economists view as sustainable.Obama's budget fleshes out proposals from his State of the Union address last month and helps highlight Democratic priorities for the last two years of his presidency and the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign. Republicans have threatened to curtail department spending in order to block Obama's executive orders on immigration.The budget achieves some $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years, officials said, through healthcare, tax and immigration reform, but the forecast assumes Republican support for Obama's programs, which is unlikely.Obama has previously proposed combining trade agencies, but the proposal fizzled.
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