Obama: Budget Forces Govt. to Live within Means

Tuesday, 15 Feb 2011 11:37 AM


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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the 2012 budget he unveiled Monday will force the government to live within its means while still investing in the future

Obama told a news conference Tuesday that the $3.73 trillion budget he sent Congress will help meet his goal of cutting the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Republicans are calling for deeper cuts, saying they want a budget that would shrink the size of government to where it was before Obama took office.

The fiscal blueprint largely ignores Obama's own deficit commission's view that huge entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare must be slashed in order to restore the nation's fiscal health.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to command the debate over his newly announced budget, President Barack Obama will hold a news conference at the White House Tuesday.

The hastily announced question and answer session comes a day after Obama unveiled his $3.73 trillion budget for 2012, which would freeze or reduce some safety-net programs for the nation's poor, but increase spending for schools, clean energy and airport sectors. Republicans, eager to please their conservative tea party supporters, are demanding deeper cuts, and a budget that would shrink the size of government to where it was before Obama took office.

The president was expected to make the case for his budget plan in opening remarks before taking questions from reporters. Tuesday's news conference will be Obama's first of the year, and the first full-scale question and answer session he's held in two months.

The fiscal blueprint Obama announced Monday mixes tax increases on the wealthy and some businesses, a five-year freeze on most domestic programs, and boosts for elementary schools, clean energy and airport security.

Following his party's sweeping defeats in the November elections, Obama pledged to refocus his agenda on the economy and creating jobs. He used last month's State of the Union address to lay out an agenda that he said would spur job growth in the short-term and increase U.S. competitiveness in the future.

But the president's domestic agenda has been overshadowed in recent weeks by events in Egypt, where protesters forced the resignation of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Obama is likely to face questions on the situation there, as the U.S. has pledged to offer support, including financial backing, to Egypt as it works toward holding democratic elections.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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