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Democrats, who for months have been battered by charges that their health care plans cut Medicare, fired back at Mr. Ryan, accusing him of threatening seniors’ cherished entitlements.

But even amid the criticism, some Democrats gave Mr. Ryan credit for pushing the debate.

Mr. Obama’s budget limits non-security discretionary spending for the next three years, which makes up $250 billion of the more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction. The administration also proposes tax hikes on upper-income taxpayers and on the largest banks.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee that the administration is committed to raising $90 billion over 10 years from those big banks to recover some of the costs of the Wall Street bailout.

Mr. Obama’s proposed budget increases security spending but also makes specific cuts. It argues that the C-17 transport is outdated and that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter does not need a second engine production line.

Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, said he is an impartial observer because his state doesn’t benefit from producing the C-17 or F-22, but insisted those programs are needed.

“I don’t have a dog in that fight. We don’t have any parochial interest there. But it’s the capability that we’re going to need,” he said.

Preparing for those fights, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he will tell Mr. Obama to veto any bill that proceeds with the F-35 alternate engine - which Congress funded at $465 million in 2010 — or the C-17 transport.

“Let me be very clear. I will strongly recommend that the president veto any legislation that sustains the unnecessary continuation of these two programs,” he said.

He also said he has no intention of revisiting last year’s battle, when the White House used veto threats to force Congress to end production of the F-22.