By offering up a $9.4 billion budget with no new taxes, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray avoided an immediate war with the full city council.
But his proposed $103 million in cuts to social services have some members already taking aim.
"It seems the poor are shouldering much of these cuts," Ward 1 Councilman Jim Graham said at the unveiling of Gray's 2013 budget.
At-large Councilman David Catania also took issue with the cuts, saying Gray should have looked elsewhere -- like the city's pension system.
"Our workforce has gone without a raise for the last four years while we continue to give raises to those who are retired," he said.
But Gray's budget does include more money for the city's police department, public school system and agencies that regulate ethics -- all priorities of many on the council.
Political consultant Tom Lindenfeld said Gray helped himself by not raising taxes, a point that would curry favor with council members who have a big influence on the budget -- Committee on Finance and Revenue Chairman Jack Evans and Council Chairman Kwame Brown.
Still, with money, there's always a scuffle.
"I do believe that there's going to be a need to explore more options than those provided by the mayor alone," Lindenfeld said.
The 2013 proposal includes a $23 million cut to the D.C. Health Care Alliance -- which means that undocumented residents would not get covered for hospital care -- and takes away $1.7 million from the Department of Mental Health's overtime budget.
The cuts help close an estimated $172.1 million projected revenue gap next year resulting from higher expenses in areas like public education and Medicare. Gray also proposes boosting revenue sources, like increasing the number of red light and speed cameras in the city's ticketing program.
The mayor is set to review his budget again with the council on Tuesday, and Gray has struggled in similar meetings to push his financial agenda through -- namely a multi-million dollar spending plan tacked on to this year's budget.
In January, Gray asked the council to approve a $44 million supplemental budget to compensate for projected overspending. No action was taken. Gray came back last week and said overspending was now projected at $79 million. At its next legislative meeting, the council again didn't take action.
But Gray said he thought he had "a good session with the council" at Friday's budget unveiling and doesn't think this year's problems will carry over into next year's budget.
"We're prepared to work constructively with the council," adding that he was still pressing to get his supplemental spending passed for this year.