Obama to deliver 2013 budget proposal on February 13

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2012 2:39 PM
Obama to deliver 2013 budget proposal on February 13

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will deliver his 2013 budget proposal on February 13, the White House said on Monday, laying out his spending priorities as he gears up for an election-year campaign that will be dominated by taxes and how to control the U.S. deficit.

Congress is free to ignore Democrat Obama's suggestions, and Republicans, who control the U.S. House of Representatives, are likely to declare it dead on arrival.

The budget for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013 will include the latest forecasts for U.S. growth and debt, both topics where he is under attack from Republicans who want to deny him a second White House term.

U.S. growth has been too tepid to quickly reduce the jobless rate, although unemployment has declined to 8.5 percent from a 10 percent peak in 2009, and anxiety over the country's economy will be a key issue in the November election.

The president in September laid what amounted to a mini-budget in recommendations cut the deficit by $3.6 trillion,

based a mixture of spending controls and tax increases.

He is expected to repeat many of those recommendations, which include allowing tax breaks for wealthier Americans to expire at the end of this year, alongside measures to control the growth in healthcare costs focused mainly on providers.

Obama will also propose lifting a federal pay freeze to give government employees a 0.5 percent wage rise. The move, ending a two-year pay freeze imposed in 2010 on two million civilian workers, compared to a 1.7 percent increase for fiscal 2013 mandated under law, and would save $26 billion over 10 years.

(Reporting By Alister Bull; editing by Jackie Frank)