WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republicans in Congress aren't the only lawmakers President Barack Obama will have to win over as he pitches his budget on Capitol Hill.
In a letter to the Senate Budget Committee dated Tuesday, 12 of the 16 members of the centrist Senate Democratic coalition - which calls itself "the moderate Dems Working Group" - expressed grave concerns about the direction of the president's $3.6 trillion budget.
The lawmakers note the Congressional Budget Office's projection of a cumulative deficit over the next 10 years of $9.3 trillion, "roughly $2.3 trillion higher than the president's budget had assumed."
The letter was addressed to Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, and ranking Senate Budget Committee member Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire. Both the Senate and House Budget Committees begin the work of drafting a budget blueprint Wednesday.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/02/illinois.senate.seat/art.roland.burris.smile.gi.jpg caption=" Roland Burris, right, says Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appointment of him is legal."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A clash over the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama will intensify next week on Capitol Hill when Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pick to fill that seat arrives in Washington.
A longtime friend and confidant of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris said late Friday that Burris will be in Washington Monday night and hopes to be seated in the Senate the next day.
That puts him on a collision course with members of the Senate Democratic majority, who have vowed to prevent Burris from taking the seat. At issue: a federal prosecutor's charge that Blagojevich had hoped to barter the Senate seat for either money or influence.