Barack Obama may be president, but it’s Congress that passes the budget, and moderate Democrats are the ones holding the keys to the federal treasury, reports Time. Obama’s 2010 budget calls for $3.6 trillion in federal spending. And though deficit-hawks appreciate the president’s honest numbers (in contrast to his predecessor), they’re still uneasy. “There'll definitely be movements by moderate Democrats to impose fiscal responsibility,” says Sen. Joe Lieberman.
Lieberman predicts that he and his fellow moderate senators—the same gang that reined in the stimulus—will “start to try to cut back.” But for Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Nebraska Democrat, the concern is less abstract. Obama’s budget diverts money from private student lenders, including Nebraska’s NelNet. “I think it'd be the wrong direction for people to outsource jobs from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Washington DC.”