New Congress enters budget battlefield

Wednesday - 1/5/2011, 1:27pm EST

There is growing consensus that reining in spending is a top priority. The disagreement in the new Congress comes in where and how the cuts should be made.

The question remains how far lawmakers will go to reduce the deficit -- Will it get to the point of a government shutdown?

Barring a shutdown, agencies face a stagnant budget under the continuing resolution.

Danny Werfel, OMB controller, told Gov Exec that agency leaders know how to overcome these budget challenges.

"We're learning how to manage through [continuing resolutions] in a way to continue to be transformative. Reorganizing ourselves, redeploying our resources more effectively, having accountability and clear goals -- when those ingredients are in place, we're able to overcome some of the budgetary constraints and move forward and be successful," Werfel said in the report.

Other budget battles also loom, with the health care bill at the top of Republicans' list of legislation to roll back. House GOP have introduced a repeal bill on Monday with an expected vote next week, Politico reports.

The repeal effort is not expected to succeed, but Republicans could "try to chip away at pieces of the law" over time, Politico reports.

In the middle of these battles, legislators will be setting their sights on 2012.

The National Journal reports that Republicans will try to roll back other Democratic measures from the past two years and "to do whatever they can to make sure that Obama is not reelected in 2012."

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