COMPETING PROPOSALS: The budget proposal from President Barack Obama falls in between the one approved by the Republican-led House that's heavy on spending cuts and the one approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate that leans more toward tax increases.

GRIDLOCK OR PROGRESS?: The president's proposals could provide a framework for talks to find a mix of spending cuts and tax increases that members of Congress could support.

WHAT NOW? The next step is for congressional negotiators to produce a compromise budget that draws on the three proposals, but they haven't started that process. Meanwhile, automatic federal budget cuts are kicking in, cancelling programs and causing flight delays.

 

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