Although more than a month late, the Obama administration submitted its 2014 budget proposal to Capitol Hill this week. Under the Budget Act, the President's budget is supposed to start the process with the House and Senate. In this case, however, the House and Senate have already passed their own 2014 budget resolutions. The House and Senate budgets are dramatically different and it is increasingly likely that the two chambers will not attempt to conference their versions and develop one compromise budget proposal which would serve as a blueprint for 2014 spending. (Note that the provision that required the House and Senate to adopt budgets in order to receive their salary only required each body to pass its own budget resolution, not to pass a compromised version.)

While irrelevant to the adoption of a budget resolution, the President's budget proposal is more designed to be a set of principles that could be used to develop a grand bargain on government spending and a way to resolve the Sequestration issue. The President's proposal contains a number of provisions designed to attract Republican support, such as cuts in Medicare and Social Security. Those provisions have drawn biting criticism from Democrats. But as a way of assuaging those concerns, the President's budget contains a number of new initiatives, such as a new pre-K program funded by a new tobacco tax. (A "two-for" for many Democrats.)

The President has said that his proposal is not a negotiating document but rather his bottom line. To be sure, without any compromise, these proposals as a whole have no chance to be enacted. But it does indicate President Obama's willingness to meet Republicans halfway on many issues and a desire to resolve the budget impasse.