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Obama’s toughest budget sell might be with liberals

WASHINGTON — President Obama will release his formal budget proposal later this week, and one of the loudest groups opposing it is likely to be liberal Democrats.

Obama’s budget will reportedly include a significant policy change known as “chained CPI,” which means the government would essentially use a slower method of measuring inflation (the Washington Post has a good overview here). Liberal Democrats have long resisted chained CPI, worrying it will slow down the growth of Social Security benefits over time, though Obama is believed to be offering the change in hopes that it might entice Republicans to compromise on such items as raising taxes (though that already looks unlikely).

But look no further than the Minnesota delegation to see the type of reaction this plan is likely to receive from congressional Democrats. In a Friday statement, Rep. Keith Ellison blasted the plan, and Rep. Rick Nolan’s twitter account put out the following:

Obama will reportedly also include changes to Medicare in his budget, effectively giving Congress the same offer he’s made to Republicans in past deficit reduction negotiations. But between Medicare and chained CPI, such an offer will be a non-starter with Capitol Hill liberals, more than 100 of whom signed a February letter demanding no cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid during deficit talks.

The White House is expected to release its budget proposal on Wednesday.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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