"President Bush set the stage Monday for an election-year battle over spending priorities by proposing a $3.1 trillion budget that cuts spending and taxes while more than doubling the federal deficit," USA Today writes. "Bush sent his 2009 budget to Congress over the Internet, but it landed with a figurative thud on Capitol Hill. Democrats vowed to ignore most of the threatened cuts to Medicare and other domestic programs. Unlike last year, when Bush forced Democrats to accept lower spending figures, this year could prove more difficult for the president. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1, less than four months before he leaves office."
This week, the Senate hopes to finish work on two administration priorities: an economic stimulus package and a bill updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). But because the Senate versions of the bills are expected to differ from the House bills, NBC's Ken Strickland points out, expect a showdown between the chambers next week if/when the bills are reconciled.
Today, top officials from the Administration's national security team will testify before the Intelligence Committee in its annual "Threat Assessment" hearing. DNI McConnell, CIA Director Hayden, and FBI Director Mueller are the headliners.
On Wednesday, Strickland adds, Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen appear before the Armed Services Committee to discuss Pentagon and war requests for 2009. Also this week, Secretaries Paulson, Leavitt, and Bodman will testify before their committees of jurisdiction on the president's 2009 budget.