The White House is far more confident about the prospects for a sweeping immigration deal that could provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of people who now are in the country, tighten border security and crack down on businesses that employ people illegally. But the president is treading carefully on the sensitive issues, wary of disrupting a bipartisan Senate working group that has been laboriously crafting a bill.
The group of four Republicans and four Democrats could unveil that legislation as early as this week, a pivotal development that would open months of debate. While the growing political power of Hispanics may have softened the ground for passage, significant hurdles remain.
Looming over Obama’s entire domestic agenda is the economy, including the deficit deal that has long eluded him. The budget Obama will release Wednesday proposes spending cuts and revenue increases that would project $1.8 trillion in deficit reductions over 10 years.
That would replace $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts that are poised to take effect over the next 10 years if Congress and the president don’t come up with an alternative.
Seeking to soften bipartisan opposition to his budget proposals, Obama will dine Wednesday night with a dozen Republican senators, part of the broader charm offensive he launched in recent weeks.
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