Spending cuts deal: Barack Obama pushes short-term solution in US budget battles
With some conservative Republicans in Congress gearing up for letting the sharp automatic cuts take effect _ which some economists say would create another recession _ Obama called for spending cuts that would stave off the impending austerity measures.
The automatic cuts, which would hit everything from defense spending to popular benefit programs, were supposed to take effect Jan. 1. But Obama and congressional Republicans struck a dramatic New Year's Day deal that extended Bush-era tax cuts for all but the wealthiest Americans and put in place about $24 billion in deficit reduction. That delay effectively postponed the automatic reductions to March 1.
The automatic austerity measures are punishment for Washington's failure to strike a long-term budget pact.
Obama will ask for targeted ways to reduce the deficit, now running at more than $1 trillion a year, in the short term, perhaps several months. White House officials said that Congress needs more time to work out a 10-year plan worth more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction. Obama is not placing a time span or a dollar amount on the short-term plan. Officials said he will leave that to Congress. The accumulated U.S. debt has grown to more than $16 trillion.
Without mentioning specifics, Obama said he
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