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Here's why the dramatic budget cuts that Trump proposed are unlikely to survive intact

Congress takes its power-of-the-purse role seriously, which is why a president's budget almost always lands on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue with a bit of a thud.

President Trump's blueprint for the next fiscal year, released Thursday, was no different.

The reaction illustrated why, despite the significant attention they are drawing, Trump's proposed dramatic cuts will likely be scaled back, changed or eliminated altogether. 

The president's spending plan was only the first step in months of negotiations between the White House and Capitol Hill over how to allocate funding. Trump will put forward a more detailed spending proposal in May, and various legislative committees will scrutinize his requests, calling on Cabinet secretaries, agency heads and others in the administration to explain their wish lists.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) effectively took a deep breath Thursday, a reminder that the plan was merely the start of a long, legislative grind that will play out for months, until funding for the new fiscal year is needed when it begins Oct. 1.

"When the president submits a budget, that is a beginning of the budget process," said Ryan, a former House Budget Committee chairman whose own past proposals, particularly his steep cuts to revamp Medicare, were nowhere to be found in Trump's initial plan.

"Do I think we can cut spending and get waste out of government? Absolutely," Ryan said. "Where and how, and what numbers, that’s something we’ll be figuring out as time goes on."

The Oct. 1 deadline is particularly important this year because spending levels from a past budget accord are set to expire. Without a new deal, automatic cuts would take effect that many in Congress want to avoid.

Trump's budget lays down a marker in that fight, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) had a blunt response: 

"As we have said over and over again in this room, the budget — the federal budget — should be a statement of our national values.... This budget is not a statement of values of anyone."

More immediately, though, Congress will need to pass a measure to keep the government running past April 28, a self-imposed deadline when funding for the current fiscal year runs out.

That is shaping up to be a more imminent showdown because Trump has requested $3 billion in supplemental funds for his promised border wall with Mexico and other immigration actions.

Democrats are refusing to fund the border wall. Even Republicans want Trump to keep his promise to have Mexico pay for it. And that could lead to a spring funding stalemate that risks a government shutdown.

Even though there might be line items to like —  for example, many in Congress would like to beef up military spending — not as many want to make Trump's proposed cuts pay for it.

11:58 a.m.: This story was updated with details on the appropriations process.

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