Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Obama urges government delay in spending cuts despite mounting debt


by Xinhua Writer Jiang Xufeng
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to delay massive government spending cuts in the near term to boost economic growth despite the spiking government debt, adding twists to the government's debt reduction efforts.
Government budget decisions have "real and lasting" impacts on the strength of U.S. economic recovery, while drastic government spending cuts will cost jobs to be created and slow down the economic growth pace, Obama said at a White House press conference on Tuesday.
Obama asked Congress to postpone the government outlays cuts starting on March 1 and stressed the importance of a balanced government fiscal policy to bolster economic recovery.
Roughly 85 billion U.S. dollars of spending cuts were set to hit various U.S. governmental departments this year starting on March 1, as agreed by Democrats and Republicans in January to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff."
"This doesn't have to happen," Obama told reporters, referring to the across-the-board cuts poised to kick in next month.
U.S. Congress is working on the government's budget for 2014 fiscal year starting on Oct. 1 this year, which might not be achieved by March 1. Obama urged lawmakers to pass a modest bill to soften the impact of the government spending reductions for several months to allow more time to produce a broader package to tackle mounting government deficit.
The across-the-board automatic government spending cuts, the so- called "sequester" or "sequestration" in U.S. government budget language, were included in the August 2011 debt-ceiling package to force lawmakers to come up with a long-term deficit reduction plan.