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After unity, some Democrats push back on Obama

October 31, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Just two weeks after Obama saw his Democratic party put up an unyielding front against Republicans, his coalition is showing signs of stress. From health care to spying to pending budget deals, many congressional Democrats are challenging the administration and pushing for measures that the White House has not embraced. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just two weeks after President Barack Obama saw his Democratic Party put up an unyielding front against Republicans, his coalition is showing signs of stress.

From health care to spying to pending budget deals, many congressional Democrats are challenging the administration and pushing for measures that the White House has not embraced.

Some Democrats are seeking to extend the enrollment period for new health care exchanges. Others want to place restraints on National Security Administration surveillance capabilities. Still others are standing tough against any budget deal that uses long-term reductions in major benefit programs to offset immediate cuts in defense.

Though focused on disparate issues, the Democrats’ anxieties are connected by timing and stand out all the more when contrasted with the remarkable unity the party displayed during the recent showdown over the partial government shutdown and the confrontation over raising the nation’s borrowing limit.

“That moment was always going to be fleeting,” said Matt Bennett, who worked in the Clinton White House and who regularly consults with Obama aides. “The White House, every White House, understands that these folks, driven either by principle or the demands of the politics of their state, have to put daylight between themselves and the president on occasion.”

Obama and the Democrats emerged from the Login to read more

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