Accessibility links

USA

Obama Wants End to 'Mindless Austerity' in 2016 Spending Plan

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, right, arrive at the armed services farewell in honor of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia, Jan. 28, 2015.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, right, arrive at the armed services farewell in honor of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia, Jan. 28, 2015.

The White House said Thursday that President Barack Obama is looking to end "the era of manufactured crises and mindless austerity" as he gets set to unveil his 2016 government spending plan.

A White House statement said Obama, a Democrat, would call for eliminating automatic spending cuts that he agreed to with opposition Republican lawmakers during a 2011 budget crisis as the U.S. struggled to recover from the world economic downturn.

Obama's 2016 budget proposal, set for release Monday, will call for a 7 percent spending hike — $74 billion — over what the fractious political parties had previously agreed on.

The statement said the automatic spending cuts, known in Washington as "sequestration," had hurt the U.S. economy and its military. Obama, the White House said, will seek to "fully reverse" cuts in domestic spending while providing equal spending boosts for military and national security programs.

The budget plan for the year starting in October will call for increased spending for advanced manufacturing, road and bridge construction, and targeted research for curing diabetes and cancer. It also will call for measures aimed at helping the country's middle class, with tax credits for child care, paid sick leave and two years of financing for community college students.

The White House said the increased spending could be paid for with "cuts to inefficient spending programs and closing tax loopholes" used by wealthy taxpayers, although no details were given.

Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress, have frequently feuded with Obama over his spending priorities, leading to contentious disputes that usually have ended with last-minute deals as funding deadlines near. But the government was partially shut down for 16 days in one such policy and budget standoff in 2013.

Republican lawmakers have already objected to some aspects of Obama's 2016 plan, parts of which were unveiled in recent speeches, including the State of the Union address to Congress. They said the proposals were too costly, and they repeatedly have rejected his call for higher taxes on wealthy taxpayers.

With the U.S. labor market market adding more than 200,000 jobs a month, Obama's popularity has risen in recent weeks, even as Republicans made large gains in November's congressional elections.

Some information in this report was provided by AP.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG