The process of allocating taxpayer dollars starts in earnest as the 13 separate appropriations bills make their way through committees.
Deficit projections mean even Democrats are looking for ways to trim, some of them gimmicky.
But they're worried about massive deficit estimates, so even some lawmakers in his own party have their whittling knives out.
Even Democrats signal adjustments are likely, given rising projections for budgetary red ink.
Republican members weigh working with Obama versus more traditional opposition role.
The nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services bowed out Tuesday over tax missteps, as did another Obama pick.